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A Special Word of Thanks ...
Holiday Volunteers: You Rocked a Symphony
Volunteer Manager Georgia Afton

Dear Much-Appreciated Volunteers,

We owe a big hats off to each and every one of you who made the end-of year 2015 holiday season such a tremendous success. They say a picture paints a thousand words, so we've created a holiday photo gallery at the end of this issue of Among Volunteers so you can see just a few of the smiles you brought to our elders' faces with your warmth and kindness on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

The week of February 15, we will be sending you a post-holiday survey to capture your valuable thoughts on the celebrations. Your feedback matters because it helps us in our aim to create the best holidays possible for our elders and for you. Thank you in advance for completing it.

In this issue, you'll meet Rosemary who would love to find a Visiting Volunteer and read fabulous Visiting Volunteer Chris Nylander's story. You can also check out our elder Elizabeth's neat Elder Day Dream request. Find out what Kevin Kling of Minnesota Public Radio fame is doing for LBFE. Also find out how you can share a Glorious Hug with an elder friend, plus sign up to volunteer for our Easter celebration.

As always, if you have any questions about the above opportunities or need anything at all related to helping us relieve elder isolation and loneliness, please call me at 612.746.0732 or e-mail me at

Warmly, with thanks for all you do,

EasterEaster Sunday's
on the Way

We'd love to have your volunteer support for Easter this year. Many of you have shared this great spring event with us in the past, or joined us for our big year-end holiday events. Either way, your warm presence and generous spirit made a world of difference to our elders' holiday experience, and we'd be grateful to have your help again.

For questions about our Easter Celebration, please e-mail our holiday team at

Just Add Love ... 
Visiting Volunteer Opportunity
by Kelly Farrell, Program Manager 

My first meeting with Rosemary a few short weeks ago was a poignant reminder of why our efforts -- yours, mine and LBFE's -- are so important to relieving elder isolation.

When I asked Rosemary to rate her loneliness on a scale from one to 10, she instantly responded, "10," and then quickly added, "I used to be such a social butterfly; I don't know how I ended up so alone."

Married and divorced with no children, Rosemary, who is in her 70s, took care of her mother until she died at age 96. Over time, isolation just crept up on her almost unaware, it seems. For many years she enjoyed a rich creative life as a painter and a poet and had an abundant social life to go with it. Now she aches to rediscover the joy she once knew through connection with a rich tapestry of friends. She smiles at the the memory of how much she loved to walk Grand Avenue in St. Paul and revel in it's hustle, bustle and color.

Rosemary's only company these days comes from the personal care attendants (PCAs) who come in a couple of times a week to help her out, and even though she keeps her home as neat as a new pin, she wants her PCAs to come more often.

But what Rosemary wants more than anything is to re-engage with life and rediscover her joy so her light can shine bright once again. She gets around pretty well, though she does have some health concerns and isn't quite up to riding in an SUV or van. She would love to get out and about for lunch or coffee or visit a museum or the library, or just go window shopping. She is hoping to connect with someone mellow and easy-going. If you would like to shine alongside Rosemary and discover a wonderful new friend, please get in touch with me at  612.746.0755 or at

Alternately, Georgia is always happy to connect you with other elder friends and can send you bios of folks currently seeking Visiting Volunteers or Family Companions. You can reach her at or 612.746.0732.
Friends Above All
by Chris Nylander, Visiting Volunteer

Visiting Volunteer 
Chris Nylander
When I imagined being a Visiting Volunteer with LBFE, I saw a man in his 80s, living in isolation, possibly home-bound, telling me stories about his life and needing a hand around the yard. 

But I had to set all my expectations aside when Gene came into my life. Sixty-four years old, wheelchair-bound and speech-impaired due to advanced multiple sclerosis (MS), Gene lives in a nursing home. At first, I found myself wondering if he might not be better served by an agency with expertise in handling MS, but came to understand the immense value of the companionship LBFE offers.

As it turned out, Gene became an inspiration to me. He makes the best of his situation, with a determined spirit that defies his limitations; and I have yet to hear him even mention his 12-year battle with MS. 

On our first visit, I learned Gene and I share a love of coffee and outdoor activity, and so began the first of several trips to Caribou and walks around the neighborhood and Como Lake. He told me about his wife and two daughters and how he earned two master's degrees, which led to two rewarding careers. He also ran a number of marathons and biked the Pacific Coast in Oregon. 

We share an active Christian faith and similar cultural tastes, so now in the colder months we are seeing more movies and occasionally visiting churches. Gene was thrilled to attend Handel's Messiah at Orchestra Hall in December, and this past Saturday to ride the Green Line for the first time. 

But while Gene and I have much in common, we have pursued very different goals with different results. Now in my late 50s, I try not to regret choosing the independent life of a writer, with its sacrifices and disappointments, even as I admire Gene for all he worked for and accomplished long before he even knew he had MS. Although I know the time I spend with Gene is about what I can do for him, I also know how much he does for me. Ours is truly a reciprocal relationship. We always have a good time together, because, above all, Gene and I are friends.

If you would like to become a Visiting Volunteer, please contact Georgia at 612.746.0732 or
Elder Day Dream Opportunity 
by Christina Fairbanks, Program Manager 

Elder Day Dreams offers simple, creative one-time opportunities for volunteers to treat elders and turn simple dreams into reality.

Please consider volunteering to fulfill Elizabeth's Day Dream. She is a wonderfully cultured elder, who is longing to attend 

This series is comprised of four Thursday lectures at The Minneapolis Institute of Art. Elizabeth would like to attend any one or all three of the following: March 10, April 14 and May 12. Each lecture starts at 11 a.m., and admission is free. 

Elizabeth lives by the Farmer's Market close to International Market Square in Minneapolis and uses a wheelchair. A great conversationalist, Elizabeth, who grew up in South Africa, has a wealth of stories to share. Besides two other degrees, she earned a master's in journalism. She taught English, Speech and Journalism in California, Washington and Minnesota.
Program Manager Christina Fairbanks

I would love to hear from you if you'd like to help fulfill Elizabeth's Elder Day Dream. Please contact me at 612.746.0746 or at
If you would like to offer an Elder Day Dream of your own creation to one of our elders, please contact Georgia at 612.746.0732 or 

Please be aware, LBFE cannot issue in-kind donation receipts to volunteers for costs associated with Elder Day Dreams. Thank you.

Storyteller Extraordinaire Kevin Kling

LBFE's 3rd annual
with storyteller Kevin Kling

WHEN: Wednesday, May 18, 2016
WHERE: Nicollet Island Pavilion


To sign up as a volunteer event driver for the opportunities below, please contact Georgia Afton at or 612.746.0732, unless otherwise noted.


Armchair Travel:
The Antarctic and Hot Chocolate with Katherine Schafer
Wednesday, February 17, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
LBFE, 1845 East Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Friendship and Flowers
Saturday, February 20, Flower pick-up 9 -11 a.m.
Pick-up from:
LBFE, 1845 East Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 285 Dale St N, St Paul 55103
February Friendship & Flowers Sign Up

Memorial Service
Monday, February 22, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
LBFE, 1845 East Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

St. Paul Lunch
Wednesday, February 24, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Elder's Lodge, 1500 Magnolia Ave E, St Paul, MN 55106

Cards, Crafts & Coffee
Thursday, February 25, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
LBFE, 1845 East Lake Street, Minneapolis. MN 55407

Let's Do Lunch Cafe
A monthly social event for LGBTQ seniors, boomers and allies  
Friday, February 26, 11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m.
LBFE, 1845 East Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407


Tuesday, March 8, 9.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m.
St. Olaf Catholic Church
215 S 8th St., Minneapolis, MN 55402

March Birthday (late lunch)
Sponsored by Wells Fargo, International Banking
Wednesday, March 16, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
LBFE, 1845 East Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Friendship and Flowers
Saturday, March 19, Flower pick-up 9-11 a.m.
Pick-up from:
LBFE, 1845 East Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 285 Dale St N, St Paul 55103
March Friendship and Flowers Sign-up

St. Paul Lunch
Wednesday, March 23, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Elder's Lodge, 1500 Magnolia Av E, St Paul, MN 55106

Cards, Crafts and Coffee
Thursday, March 24, 9:30 -11:30 a.m.
LBFE, 1845 East Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Let's Do Lunch Cafe
A monthly social event for LGBT seniors
Friday, March 25, 11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m.
LBFE, 1845 East Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407
HolidayGalleryHoliday Gallery

Here are just a few of the smiles our marvelous holiday volunteers shared with our elders on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day:

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From now through 
Feb. 16, you can get 
$5 off your order PLUS 
Glorious Hugs will 
donate $5 to LBFE! 

can be custom designed to include handmade art, poems, coloring pages and colored pencils, cookies and other optional items. Each package is locally sourced, beautifully wrapped and will provide hours of enjoyment. 

Send a favorite elder or 
loved one a truly unique gift.





Please send in your time reports -- it's easy!

Help us accurately track and report to the community and our funders by completing your monthly time report. Here's how:

  1. Fill out your time report. To download a writable PDF of the form, click here.
  2. Save and email, or print and mail or fax (612.721.5848) to your supervisor. View email directory.

 Thank you! 


 FunFactDid you know ...?

One of our elders worked as a cab driver and chauffeured Duke Ellington, a man on the 10 Most Wanted List, and someone who had to catch a flight on Airforce One!
InfoandOrientVolunteer Information and  Orientation Session

Tuesday, March 8 
6:15  - 7:45 p.m.
RSVP by March 1
Session Location:
1845 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55497
Please RSVP to Georgia at


Learn about Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly's history, programs and what the future holds for Minnesota's older adults. As a prospective volunteer, or a current volunteer who wants to deepen your commitment, you'll gain valuable insights on working with older adults, handling various situations and our practices and policies.
Please feel free to invite friends who are curious about volunteering.
The sessions are essential for all Volunteer Companions. Please join us!

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We post updates, pictures and volunteer opportunities. It's a great way to see what we're up to, and find ways to get involved at LBFE.

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