On any given weekday at the Neoumanist Sunrise Day Care Center, you will find the hallway filled with lively talk between friends as they store their belongings in the vestibule, catching up with the latest news on gardens, grandchildren, and world events. Some seat themselves around the entryway, greeting later arrivals, waiting for a turn at the shower or the washing machines. Others move into the lounge, gathering around tables to knit, crochet, or focus on intricate needlepoint; a competitive game of cards in the back room is laced with belly laughs and good-natured teasing; the television is tuned to a Russian-language soap opera that holds a three elderly men rapt. One employee is efficiently snipping a woman's silvery locks as she hums a traditional ballad, occasionally breaking into song. A volunteer from Holland is carefully applying make-up to the upturned face of the woman seated next to her. Meanwhile the massage therapist bounces into the room, calling for the next client. The smell of cooking sarmale floats down from the kitchen, holding the promise of a warm, nutritious meal to come.
Sunrise is the hub for 250/ year, vulnerable seniors daily activities, the home away from home where they are always guaranteed to find conversation, hugs, laughter, and love. Over the past 12 years, it has become an integral element of their mental and physical health, a lifeline that anchors them in a community. Yet this vibrant and essential haven had become increasingly threatened by the gradual deterioration of the center's roof, which was leaking water during the rains and allowing precious heated air to escape during the winter months. Then, during the process of assessing the damage, the roof was discovered to contain asbestos, raising a further alarm for the health and safety of the beneficiaries and the staff. Something had to be done fast.
Fortuitously, around this time Neohumanist was invited to a presentation made by a Global Giving representative and learned about the online platform for reaching out to potential donors. We needed 20000 dollars to change the roof. Leveraging Facebook, our blog, email, and direct appeals to historic friends, we were able to raise over $5000 toward the roof replacement and work commenced on July 7. The rest of the needed amount was donated by our friends from Holland.
Workers came from surrounding districts and stayed at the center for 4 weeks to ensure that the work was completed before the seasonal rains began.
The elderly are delighted with the new roof and they are very thankful to all the donors. Together, they created a poster as a gift for everyone who donated on our behalf.
Due to the generosity of both old friends and new, Sunrise now has a beautiful, sturdy roof constructed from safe materials that will ensure another twenty years of knitting, showering, lunching, gossiping, and soap operas for this large, thriving family of friends. As we move toward winter and the holiday season, we will be seeking assistance for winter help for elderly.