Helping the Homebound for the Holidays

Tags: Currents Charity, Holidays

By Katie Engesser

Mother Maria Amador is on a Thanksgiving mission.

“The best gift we can give is our time,” said the sister from the Preachers of Christ and Mary.

She is making house calls this holiday, visiting elderly residents who are spending the season alone because they are too sick or their family is too far away.

“I can’t imagine how difficult it could be for a person who are alone without family, without friends,” said Mother Maria, “and being alone during those times.”

But Mother Maria isn’t doing this alone. Her partner in this mission is Caitlin Toner.

“I hope to just give [the elderly] some company and a little bit of joy,” Caitlin said.

They are part of a group of 28 people participating in a Thanksgiving outreach program called The Little Brothers, Friends of The Elderly. The volunteers plan to visit 50 homebound seniors living in Brooklyn and Manhattan before Thanksgiving.

“We just want to make sure they are still cared for,” said Jerome Michaux, head of the New York branch.

The Little Brothers was started after World War II by devout Catholic named Armand Marquiset.

Jerome explained, “He had it in his heart to serve the elderly who were just like destitute and lost relatives during the war.”

Today, the program is in more than 15 countries. For Caitlin, the visits strike a personal cord.

“I am very close to my grandma who lives very far away,” Caitlin explained , “so it’s kind of related in that I know how happy it is to kind of see a younger person and see someone else.”

Flowers and cards made by Catholic School Children are just some of the small gestures that make these residents feel like they are cared for and loved.

A gift that Mother Maria and the rest of the volunteers give with all their heart.

Resident Barthel Tenrecia said with a smile “it’s a wonderful gift from God. I thank Him and I thank you all with all my heart.”

To donate to The Little Brothers or visit homebound yourself, visit