It’s cold season again, and cities like Detroit, Highland Park and Port Huron where we have residential programs for people in dire need usually get colder than many cities in the United States.

With the number of homeless, hungry, mentally ill and substance abusing persons on the increase, the need for emergency shelter and other services has also been on the increase.

This cold season, our shelters and transitional housing programs will be filled to the brim.

We will go beyond the 4500 meals we serve our hungry brothers and sisters on daily basis. Yes, our case managers, counsellors, chefs and treatment professionals will have more work on their hands.

Of course, our heating bills will go way up, just as the cost of operating buses that pick up women, children, senior citizens and veterans that are reported to be hard-hit by cold on the streets or in their heater-devoid residences.

And our emergency cots will readily serve the overflow of people who have nowhere else to turn to for help in the bitter cold.

But guess what … That’s why we exist as a nonprofit organization. That’s how we have made a difference since our founding in Detroit in 1909.

From our humble beginning in 1909 till now, one group that has been consistent in supporting us with prayers, volunteer hours, and donation of money and in-kind items is people over 65 years of age. Everyone calls them senior citizens but we know and call them our TRUSTED FRIENDS.

Though bodily weak at times, they still volunteer to serve meals, repaint walls, clean our kitchens, tutor our kids, give words of encouragement, and make quilts and hats for those we serve.

Though having their own financial challenges, they still consistently donate money and materials that help us a great deal.

Though in need of fervent prayers, they always pray that God continues to guide and sustain us in our labor of love.

Though with family members and friends who may not approve of their exceptional generosity, they gladly and boldly put us in their will or living trust.

In fact, I doubt if we are able to keep giving meaningful help and hope to the needy around us without the inestimable moral and financial support of these TRUSTED FRIENDS.

That’s why I always enjoy the opportunity to visit them, send them letters of solidarity and appreciation, address their groups, pray for them, and take them on a tour of our facilities.

This past Monday, three extraordinary seniors from Bethany Baptist Church in Clinton Township visited our head offices in Detroit with infectious joy, unforgettable words of encouragement and over 100 beautiful quilts handmade with love.

If you think this is their first time of doing so, then you don’t know the stuff they are made of. Aged between 88 and 69, they have been supporting us without fail for over two decades.

So, I have a heart-felt request. If you know any senior near you, please visit or send them a bouquet of flowers or an I APPRECIATE YOU note this Thanksgiving.

Some of them are understandably lonely. Some feel abandoned. Some minister so much to others but receive little or no attention and affection. Some pray so much for our community and our nation, and hope people like you are praying for them.

Can you help make this year’s THANKSGIVING a memorable one for our TRUSTED FRIENDS?

Thank you so plenty, and enjoy a compassionate Thanksgiving.

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