Friends for Life is a 501(c)(3) charity that was founded in Waco, Texas in September of 1989 to improve the quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities, particularly those who are without family to care for them.

Mission Statement

Friends for Life helps the elderly and people with disabilities live independently as long as possible, protects and cares for those who are unable to care for themselves and brings generations together to enrich lives.

Friends-for-life
Inez Russell, Founder of Friends for Life

How We Started

I was visiting my father in the hospital one day when I heard a woman screaming. I went to see what was wrong and found a woman who was close to ninety years old.  She said, “I’m dying and I don’t want to die alone, please don’t leave me!” I stayed and listened while she told me her life story. She was a college graduate who worked as a librarian for 50 years. She had both children and grandchildren. But while she was sick, in a hospital 200 miles away from her nearest family, no one was coming to see her. She was convinced this meant she was dying. If she were going to live, her family would still be coming to see her. The thought of dying alone absolutely terrified her.

 

I gave her a stuffed animal and flowers and read from my Bible to her. Mostly, I just listened to her. She decided I wouldn’t be doing all that if she were dying. In a short time, she got well and went home.

 

After I visited her, the nurses asked, ‘Since you visited this lady that you didn’t know, would you go see a lady on the fourth floor who is all alone?’ So, I also brought her a stuffed animal, visited with her, and she got well enough to go home. Then they asked, ‘There is someone on the second floor who has no family, could you check on her, too?’

As God made me aware of more elderly people who needed help – people who were without family, I kept thinking that the help they needed already existed – somewhere. For months it seemed that every time I picked up a newspaper, listened to the radio or watched television, I heard about elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. I learned that over half of the people in nursing home never had a single visitor. I also learned that over half of the elderly people who were living alone, needing help, weren’t getting any help at all – from anyone. I heard more about the elderly in those few months than ever before.

 

I searched for an organization that would give the elderly a support system when there was no family or when family could not meet the needs. When I couldn’t find anything, I started Friends for Life.

Areas of Service

friends-for-life
Staff and volunteers bring smiles and happiness.

 

 

In The Past Year:

Friends for LIfe helped 127 clients with Money Management, with over 3,426 bills paid. We have assisted 486 clients in Guardianship and cared for 114 Adult Day Care clients. Over 1,300 clients have been helped to live better lives in our Independent Living and Quality of Life program. Last Thanksgiving, more than 450 holiday meals were prepared and delivered to people in their homes. We are so thankful for our 184 volunteers this last year, who served a total of 25,595 hours. The private sector estimates the value of volunteer work at $25.11 per hour. That means our volunteers donated $567,348 of their time and services. Come join us!

friends-for-life

Visit Us and See the Amazing Work We Are Doing Everyday in the Lives of Those Who Need Us.

Friends for Life Headquarters in Waco, TX

Friends for Life is headquartered in Waco, Texas and has offices, staff and volunteers in many other counties of Texas. See a full listing here:

Friends for Life Offices and Contact Information

 

 

 

Our Staff

Friends for Life has a team of 60 people, many with specific accreditation in the fields of guardianship, nursing, law, elder care and intergenerational care.  Our staff members are not only well trained but have hearts for the people we serve.

Our Governing Board

Friends for Life is governed by a board comprised of business and educational professionals and community leaders who serve a three-year term, meeting monthly and oversee various committees for the charity. To see a full listing of the Friends for Life Governing Board, click the link below.

Friends for Life Governing Board 2017