INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 12, 2016) – Age is not a factor for some 80- and 90-somethings at Morning Pointe of Franklin (Ind.), who are moved by their monthly ministry to a local homeless shelter in downtown Indianapolis.
As part of the assisted living community’s Life Enrichment Program, residents are given ample opportunities to give back through philanthropic activities that are built into the community’s activity programs. And, according to Mary Beth Piland, Life Enrichment Director at Morning Pointe, the residents enjoy the opportunity to volunteer, as it invokes a sense of purpose and servitude.
“One of the hard parts of aging is feeling not needed,” Piland says. “Life has changed so much for a senior. [They are] in a new home and often no longer driving.”
She says the Life Enrichment Program helps seniors find the purpose they once had as active members of the community, stating that many residents at Morning Pointe were involved in churches and local organizations in the past.
Now, the group of eight residents ages 85 to 92 travel 25 miles north of Franklin to Wheeler Mission, a Christian-centered homeless shelter. With nine locations across the state, the organization relies heavily on its volunteers to support men in Indiana who have fallen on hard times.
Donning hairnets and adjusting aprons, the Morning Pointe residents wash their hands and get to work, lining up the shelter’s clients for meals and a short Bible study.
Some of the younger men in the meal line asked the residents for their ages, expressing surprise and appreciation for the seniors’ benevolent acts of service.
After a few visits, the residents have adopted nicknames from the shelter clients, such as “Cookie” and “Honey Buns,” – respective of the items they serve in the meal line.
“We were unsure of what to expect on our first time,” Piland says. “But we walked away with so much more than they did.”
Photo: Blanche Eilert (left) and Neva Teipen (right), Morning Pointe of Franklin residents, are among a group of 80- and 90- somethings who travel more than 20 miles to volunteer at a homeless shelter.