On March 21st, India Home celebrated a birthday. We turned seven at our Sunnyside center! We started the Monday program at Sunnyside Community Services on March 23rd, 2009. We could talk about the social, psychological, recreational and healthcare programming that we’ve concentrated our efforts on; or how the nonprofit has grown – from one center with 10 initial members to one that serves over 150 seniors at four different centers all over Queens.
We could… but we’d rather talk about our relationship with our wonderful “uncles and aunties.” The India Home family.
With us from the beginning: At least 15-20 of our members have been with us from the very beginning of our journey when we first started at SNAP (Services Now for Adult Persons). Celebrating our birthday, we felt blessed that so many of our “Uncles and Aunties” were still with us to share this milestone with us.
Sharing memories: On that day, many of our seniors spent a few minutes writing and sharing their memories of India Home with us. One long time member likened her first days at India Home to being a new born. Just like a new born, who is doted over and celebrated by family members, she too felt welcomed with delight. Members talked about going home to India, but still missing India Home! One senior spoke about how he used to be a very quiet person, who hardly spoke until he came to India Home. Now, he said, “I dance, I sing, I talk a lot.”
Another spoke about feeling confident as a result of her participation at the center. She felt as if she could stand up and express an opinion or offer a suggestion and people would listen to her and value her. Again and again, the notion of family and a home away from home came up – so many members felt supported by each other and called India Home, a home away from home, with all the familiarity and comfort that phrase implies.
Many seniors around the table were nodding heads and smiling. India Home is fortunate to have such a group of committed, involved members.
In the midst of this great impersonal city, we had managed to create a family that truly cares for each other.