Giving love to those that paved the way
Picture Credit: Pixabay
When I was on a flight recently, I got to thinking about the past few years in the Bring Smiles to Seniors program. Then I started to think about seniors more broadly. Mostly about the support and assistance that we provide them and the focus that gets placed on them by society.
When we look out across the broad spectrum of not for profit entities, it is very easy to find large, cash filled entities that focus on a number of things. We pump hundreds of millions of dollars into disaster relief organizations, children’s charities and charities that focus on specific diseases. All worthy causes in their own right. However, it is much harder to find thriving charities that are focused on the elderly and taking care of those that many times painstakingly paved the way for us, so that we could have a better future.
I have had the benefit of traveling the world, living in other countries and experiencing different cultures. Nowhere in the world are the elderly less revered and taken care of than right here in our own country. It is almost as if once you reach a certain age, you are simply on the slow road to the end of your life and the need for resources to ensure that you are taken care of for your remaining days are of less importance.
I have been in many senior living communities and experienced a myriad of conditions that seniors live in. The ability to pay has a direct correlation to the environment where you get to spend your final days, if you are not lucky enough to be able to live at home or with loved ones. I have experienced first hand individuals who still have family, but once they enter the four walls of a senior community it is as if they no longer exist. There are just too many competing priorities to make the time to visit and remind the loved one that they still matter.
The interesting thing about all of this is that God willing we are all going to be one of those elderly people one day. The unfortunate thing is that we often don’t realize the importance of taking care of the elderly until we become an elderly person ourselves. Ensuring that those that came before us are reminded that they are loved and cared for it at the core of our mission. The need is great and we are only able to touch small corners of our society, but we have done that almost 100,000 times since the start of this program. Our elderly are one of our most precious resources and we owe it to them to remind them of that every single day.
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.
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