By Ukee Washington
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Seniors without family or friends can have an especially tough time at the holidays. So a group of Wharton students stepped in to give some of them their own party.
As live string music filled the air, a community room at Angela Court Senior Apartments transformed into a place for a feast with table service of turkey and trimmings.
Wharton students from a management class served food and spread friendship for a non-profit called Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly.
“Aren’t we lucky? Said executive director Julianne James. She calls the mission of Little Brothers “flowers before bread.” More than two-thirds of their clients are in poverty.
“Little Brothers is there to try to alleviate some of the loneliness and isolation that occurs predominantly through the holiday season,” said James.
One student, Andrew Gegios, even put his French to use chatting with a widower from Haiti, Francuois Mora.
“I love today!” Mora said.
Andrew says he has always been inspired to connect with elders. “My family is very old and I really love spending time with them learning about the olden days and making them feel special,” he said.
Attendee Maryann Burch used to work with Little Brothers herself. “Now it’s my turn to enjoy it,” she said.
Lydia Gonsalves said, “It is so nice to have people in and around Philadelphia who will talk to you, make you laugh.”
The students not only rounded up donated food and supplies, they created a new marketing plan for the 23-year-old non-profit to attract more volunteers.
“We wanted to overdeliver and wanted to do something where we could make a huge impact,” Gegios said.
Volunteers are always needed to provide support, visit with seniors, and make check-in calls.
You can find out more at: http://philadelphia.littlebrothers.org