Reminding elders they’re loved and not alone

In total, last winter brought almost 50 inches of snowfall to the city. And during the week of 2021’s Valentine’s Day deliveries, Chicago was experiencing especially frigid temperatures. Deliveries of Valentine’s cards, messages, candy and roses lifted elders’ spirits during a bleak time.

One delivery to two elders by two staff members was particularly memorable. “It was such a great visit even with the frigid temperatures. All four of us stood outside and shared a wonderful conversation for a little over 15 minutes. It would have been longer if not for the weather,” shared Lili, LBFE’s Event Coordinator.

One of those elders was Marlene, who is 80 and has been a member of LBFE for nearly a decade now. She is very friendly, and when she first joined, Marlene described her desire to make younger friends, as well as meet people who were in a similar place in life as she is.

It was easy to hear Marlene’s smile when she remembered the visit. “Everybody was so friendly. February was my downest month, and it was just good to be surrounded by friends. It seemed like we all regained our sense of humor after that conversation. It was such a nice gesture. I remember that Dary wasn’t dressed warmly enough, but she was going to stand there anyway!”

“Even though I know there are so many people reaching out to other people and helping other people, it feels different when you’re up close to it and know that someone cares. It makes a difference and makes me feel lighter. I had a small family, and they died some time ago. I’ve outlived most of my friends. I’m pretty resourceful when it comes to being alone. But being able to connect and share conversation is so important.”