Nonprofit wants your help sending birthday cheer to area’s older residents

LifeSpan seeks donations of unused birthday cards.

Credit: Becky Stein

Credit: Becky Stein

LifeSpan employees sometime see their clients on a limited income struggle to make ends meet. That’s where the nonprofit steps in to help individuals from Butler, Warren and Hamilton counties by offering programs from care services for the elderly to financial counseling, academic assistance and more.

But a new initiative for the Hamilton-based LifeSpan aims to combat something else: Loneliness.

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It started over a conversation between two LifeSpan colleagues. Lisa Frye, a guardianship manager, shared with her co-worker Cathy Barnhill, a representative payee manager, a conversation she recently had with a mutual client.

Frye shared with Barnhill that she had received a call from the client and he told her, “Lisa, I bought myself a birthday card and I want to read it to you…”

He then went on to read the words from the birthday card he had selected for himself.

“Our clients are buying themselves birthday cards,” Barnhill said she realized, and both women agreed this was unacceptable.

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“Many of our clients have limited income and live alone,” said Barnhill. “For many of them, loneliness is all too common. After sharing this story with our staff, the team agreed to do something to go above and beyond in a meaningful way that will spread a little joy to all our clients.”

This call to action became LifeSpan’s Birthday Card Campaign, which asks friends, families, fellow LifeSpan employees, and community partners to donate unused birthday cards.

LifeSpan’s goal is to make sure none of the clients it serves feels as though they have been forgotten on their birthday.

“It is such a simple act of kindness that touches the hearts of so many that may be experiencing loneliness,” said Bill Staler, CEO of LifeSpan.

LifeSpan needs the public's help to stock their supply of cards. Search high and low in cabinets and desk drawers for any unused, unwanted birthday cards to donate.

You can drop off unused cards at LifeSpan’s office at 1900 Fairgrove Ave. in Hamilton.

You can also make a monetary donation online to cover the cost of the next birthday card purchase.

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