Best of Series: Can You Help Our Greatest Generation?

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

End of Summer “Best of Series” / Blog Originally Posted on April 6, 2012

Yesterday, as a member of the Auburn Hills Noon Optimist Club, I delivered lunch to a few residents in a senior housing complex on Squirrel Road.  The Optimists adopted a route in the City’s Meals on Wheels program and we rotate weeks delivering the meals.  I always enjoy doing it.  Mostly, I look forward to seeing Frank.

Frank always greets me with a smile.  Like a seasoned preacher, he says a quick blessing over me.  I conclude that Frank is a war veteran because he often wears his military medals pinned to his white undershirt.  Like many of the people who receive these meals, Frank is very grateful and appreciative of the volunteers’ efforts to assist his wife and himself.  Yesterday, before he shut the door, Frank said to me … “Thank you, Thank You, Good Man.  May the Lord Be With You and Your Family.  Happy Easter.”  When the door closed, I almost lost it.   He looked frail and weak.

Folks like Frank need our help.  The U.S. Census shows that the number of adults age 65 and older in the City of Auburn Hills increased by almost 40% over the past decade. Karen Adcock, Senior Services Director tells me all the time that we need to do more to honor and serve this growing segment of our community.  I plan to work harder with Karen and the Planning Commission to help improve affordable housing opportunities for our aging population and make sure their needs are considered in the planning of our community.

If you are looking for something you can do to help our seniors, I encourage you to visit the Volunteer Opportunity portion of the City’s website or call Alyssa Hawkins at (248) 370-9353.  There are many great opportunities for families, students, civic groups, churches, businesses, employees, and even retired folks to help our greatest generation.  Many of the tasks can be done in a short period of time or do not require any type of long-term commitment.  Any service, no matter how small, is so much appreciated by the recipients.

So, I encourage you to partner with the City of Auburn Hills to honor and serve our elders. I promise that you will not regret it.