No, the fire truck wasn’t there because of all the candles on the birthday cake.
Instead, its sirens and flashing lights led the way for a parade of honking horns and smiling faces gathered for a drive-by celebration of Julie Cabezas’ 100th birthday.
When a pandemic cancelled family plans for a big party, Memorial Senior Services made sure Julie and her loved ones could still celebrate the momentous occasion – at a safe social distance.
Click here to see a video of Julie sitting the shade and enjoying the parade of well-wishers, who waved signs and balloons as they slowly cruised past the guest of honor. “It feels like a dream to me that I’ve reached 100,” Julie said.
Making sure Julie didn’t spend her special day alone is just one of the many accomplishments of Memorial’s ALLIES Program – dedicated to keeping seniors vibrant, active and connected to their community.
The ALLIES Program provides outreach and assistance to help seniors 80 years and older keep living on their own. It includes home safety assessments and improvements. In addition, seniors can receive transportation to senior activities as well as counseling to help manage depression.
The ALLIES Program is made possible by support from a dynamic collaboration between the Community Foundation of Broward, the Jewish Federation of Broward County and United Way of Broward County.
In 2018, the three organizations released a landmark study entitled, “The Silver Tsunami: Is Broward Ready?” The study identified challenges such as holes in the safety net for Broward seniors, affordability issues resulting from limited finances as well as long waiting lists for help. It noted that Broward has Florida’s fastest growing population of people over 85.
These challenges for Broward’s vulnerable seniors have grown even more daunting during this unprecedented health and economic crisis.
The Community Foundation and its partners are responding with more support for Dignity In Aging. The latest round of support includes a new $90,000 grant for the ALLIES Program to engage 500 seniors in weekly social activities, including at least 100 getting home visits and depression management.
This life-changing support for Broward’s seniors is made possible by local philanthropists who create endowed charitable Funds at the Community Foundation. Thanks to the power of endowment, the Community Foundation will be there to help seniors live their lives to the fullest – during his crisis and beyond.
To learn how you can support Dignity In Aging through a charitable Fund at the Community Foundation, contact Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-761-9503.