Happy National Volunteer Month!

WE LOVE OUR VOLUNTEERS! On Thursday, April 12, LBFE hosted a Volunteer Appreciation Happy Hour to celebrate the many volunteers like you who make it possible for our elder friends to stay connected to their communities. 
The Mexican-themed event also paid homage to our sister chapter in Cuernavaca, located just south of Mexico City. Volunteer guests enjoyed street tacos, nachos, salsa, guacamole and Mexican beverages.

The highlight of the evening was hearing from volunteer and elder friend Terry D. who shared how important volunteers from LBFE have been to her and the impact they have had on her life. Terry also volunteers for LBFE and shared how good "helping someone else" makes her feel. 

Thank you all for your continued support for our elders and for joining the movement to end isolation and loneliness in the elder community.
Looking for an AmeriCorps VISTA Member

We are excit ed to announce that LBFE was approved to host an AmeriCorps VISTA memb er fo r one  year, beginning this August!  The VISTA member will lead a unique, neighborhood-based project to connect elders and neighbors through com panionship. With leadership from the VISTA member, and support from the community, we will co-create a framework for achieving isolation-free blocks in the neighborhood, allowing older a dult residents to age in place in the community they love with the support of their neighbors. The VISTA member should have some experience with community organizing, relationship building, and have a passion for the power of volunteerism.  

If you are interested in learning more about the opportunity to join AmeriCorps and work with LBFE, or if you know someone else who may be, you can find more information  here  or contact  Ann Fosco
Selfie of the Month
Happy Birthday, Agnes! LBFE volunteers Katherine S. and Mimi H. (who is behind the camera so  t echnically not a selfie),celebrate elder friend Agnes G's birthday at the MARJORIE MCNEELY CONSERVATORY'S WINTER FLOWER SHOW at Como Zoo. You can almost smell the flowers, can't you? 

What did you and your elder friend do to beat the winter doldrums this April? 
Snap a photo, attach it to an email and share your story!

Volunteer for Wingo

Join us for a new twist on an old favorite!  Thursday, May 17, Wingo guests are invited to play bingo in the chic Day Block Event Center while enjoying an array of tasty appetizers and sampling exquisite wines. 

We are currently looking for volunteers to help at this event. You might help with setup, greet people at the registration table, assist with wine tasting or at the photo booth. If you can't join us that evening, maybe you have an extra bottle of wine or two you could donate, or perhaps a gift card, movie tickets, sports tickets or a gift basket. 

Watch for more information from Ceallaigh Anderson-Smart, LBFE Development Manager, about volunteering at this fun and unique event. In the meantime, contact Ann Fosco    with questions.  WINGO!
Immediate Volunteer Needs

Do you want to volunteer for Friendship and Flowers but worry you don't have time for an on-going once-a-month commitment? Are you a team player who enjoys sharing the load with others? Then the Friendship and Flowers On-Call Volunteer Team is the perfect team for you! 

We are looking for a three-person On-Call Volunteer Team for the Minneapolis F&F pick-up location and another team for the St. Paul location. Each month, one person from each team will sign up to be the on-call volunteer for that month and  may be contacted to make deliveries on open routes so that no elder goes without their flowers and treats! 

To learn more about the On-Call Volunteer Team, contact Ann Fosco.
Shipments of Sunshine
Recently, long-time volunteer Julie Dey, asked a simple question: "Do you think there is a way we could start a group at LBFE for sending monthly Care Packages to Elders?" Our response? Of course there is! 

Introducing "Shipments of Sunshine" or S.O.S. It is the perfect volunteer opportunity for individuals, families, school groups, churches, corporate groups, etc.  Each month the team would be responsible for assembling and mailing "care packages" to our elders waiting to matched so they know they haven't been forgotten. The packages would be very simple--chocolates, tea bags and lip balm in the winter or cookies, lemonade mix and sunscreen in the summer. You might also include playing cards or crossword puzzle books and a short letter or card to let the elder know you are thinking about them. LBFE will provide you with the name and address of an elder and a little bit of information about what they like.  If you are interested in S.O.S., please contact  Ann Fosco
Social Isolation Working Group

LBFE and several community partners have been reaching out to Minnesota state legislators, making the case for creating a Social Isolation Working Group. 

The working group will be comprised of numerous organizations whose goal is to develop and promote statewide solutions for those affected, including the isolated elder community that you have been supporting for many years.

It would be helpful if all of our elected officials could hear from us regarding this bill. Please consider contacting your state senator to ask for their support for bill SF 2490. Please include your home address to confirm that you are a constituent. It would also be helpful if you made the same request of your representative in the Minnesota House of Representatives, asking support for HF 3171. 

If you need the contact information for your state senator or state sepresentative, you can use this handy link: The title of the bill is the Older Adult Social Isolation Working Group. Thank you!

Friends for Life Breakfast

Thank you to all who were able to attend the Friends for Life fundraiser Breakfast on April 5 and may have made a contribution to help bring connection and companionship to more Twin Cities isolated elders. 

The breakfast started with an exclusive video greeting from Sen. Amy Klobuchar; Ceallaigh Smart, LBFE Development Manager, led us in a reflection on isolation called "How Full Is Your Coffee Cup;" and WCCO Radio's Jordana Green "interviewed" executive director James Falvey about LBFE's history, mission and vision for the future. 

The icing on the cake was elder friends Virgina and Jim who shared how LBFE changed their lives for the better. Virginia summed it up by saying LBFE helps elders appreciate "glowing older."

5 Life Lessons from the Oldest Old

New York Times reporter John Leland thought he knew how to write about the "oldest old" - people 85 and up. For a proposed yearlong series, he figured he would chronicle a laundry list of their issues: things like the dangers of falling, financial pressures and family conflict.

As Leland delved deeper, however, he realized the people in this age group were more than the sum of their problems. And he saw how much he didn't know about the realities of aging. The resulting "85 & Up" series took a more holistic view of their lives. "I thought aging was about decline and loss. I found the problems, but none of the people defined themselves by that."