LBFE's programs invite people from all generations and different walks of life to create reciprocal and meaningful relationships that provide valuable social interaction to older persons living in San Francisco. LBFE programs are designed specifically for interpersonal connectivity with a focus on building trust, friendship, and community. LBFE older adults are oftentimes homebound or physically isolated in addition to being socially isolated, therefore we aim to bring one-on-one, small group interaction to them through home visiting volunteers. Our more mobile older adults are offered the opportunity to socialize outside of their homes through our social gathering and special outing events. LBFE is committed to building community with our elders and volunteers so that they can create strong relationships and feel a part of the city they call home.
Visiting Volunteer Program
The Visiting Volunteer Program is our core program as we match committed volunteers with their older friend in hopes of building a consistent, long-term friendship. Volunteers visit at least twice a month for at least a year-long commitment. Visiting Volunteers are advocates for their older friends by keeping LBFE staff aware of any changes in their lifestyle or health. Volunteers have the unique opportunity to learn about their older friends' rich life experiences, history, as well as share their own. Volunteers are also encouraged to assist elders where they may need with small tasks. Visiting Volunteers are required to attend an LBFE orientation, complete a background check and additional paperwork.
Birthday and Holiday Visits
Holidays and birthdays are often the loneliest times of the year for older adults who are living alone without friends or family. LBFE offers holiday visits on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, as well as birthday visits. Volunteers have the opportunity to bring the spirit of the holidays into elders' homes and foster a feeling of connection with one's community. Volunteers are still required to complete an orientation and background check for holiday and birthday visits.
Home Visit Events
Home Visit Events are held monthly, typically on Saturdays, throughout the year. This program provides additional visits to older adults already participating in the Visiting Volunteer Program and offers them the opportunity to meet other volunteers aside from their match. For LBFE elders who are not matched and/or prefer to be visited once a month, this is a great way for them to socialize and meet new people in the comfort of their home or somewhere accessible to them. Home Visit Events are LBFE's largest volume events where we see between 30 and 300 volunteers depending on the time of the year. Volunteers are provided a gift bag and a rose to present to the elder upon their arrival. Home Visits are encouraged for all first-time volunteers but still requires attending an orientation and completing a background check prior.
Social gatherings provide elders the opportunity to meet other older adults and volunteers outside of their home. Social gatherings typically include lunch, games or activities, and entertainment. Volunteers help decorate the venue, escort elders to and from the event and act as hosts. Social gatherings are particularly advantageous to more mobile, social elders who enjoy engaging in a group setting.
Eligibility is contingent on interest and eligibility for core programs listed above
Where we do not have programs, we advocate, refer and see elders through the process where needed - as a friend may do. LBFE is not a senior center or housing facility. Programs operate in different locations through out the city of San Francisco, primarily in elders' homes.
You have been so very kind to me. All of you.
I already miss your loving thoughts and healing spirit.
Thank you for everything.
I didn’t believe in heaven until I met your volunteer angels.
You made my Christmas the best since I came to SF.
I wouldn’t have a social life without Little brothers. Thank you, thank you, thank you!