The Greater Hewitt Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting and after-hours event to welcome Friends for Life as new members. After the ribbon cutting, Inez Russell, Friends for Life’s founder and Executive Director for the past 30 years, told of starting Friends for Life in a small 100 square foot office with a borrowed laptop and a staff of 1 volunteer. She described how she can still see the faces of many people that FFL has helped over the years: One woman who cooked a turkey for 22 hours on a space heater because she didn’t have a stove; an older man, a stroke victim, who wasn’t able to afford help because a family member had stolen all his assets; or the lady in a nursing home who called Inez and whispered “Please come get me”; when she was in Inez’s car, she said “they’re hurting me” and showed her the bruises. These are just a few of the people that have been helped by Inez and Friends for Life over the years.
In 30 years, Friends for Life has grown from that one room office with a volunteer staff to a charity with a large main office in Waco and satellite offices in Abilene, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Texas City, Temple and Tyler and 70+ staff members providing needed services to seniors and people with disabilities. We are all excited to see what the next 30 years bring!
Thank you to the Hewitt Chamber for welcoming us and to everyone who attended. A big thanks to all the Board Members who helped us share the word about the good work FFL is doing in our community. And a HUGE thank you to Jon Searles, Right at Home, and board member with FFL, for sponsoring this event! You did a wonderful job with the entertainment, door prizes, and food.
Stay tuned for our February event, a Valentines themed thank you to our volunteers.