Volunteering is a Family Affair

“There’s value in having company. There’s a lot we can give to people by making a visit.” – Barbara Baumann

In August of 2015, Howard Aizenstein and his son, Simon, began making regular visits to Meyer Rosenthal through United Way’s Open Your Heart to a Senior (OYHS) initiative. Meyer was ill and homebound at the time. With his father’s work as his inspiration, Simon wanted to work with seniors. “It’s about helping someone other than yourself,” said Simon.

Howard, Simon and Meyer immediately developed a deep bond and loving friendship. Simon loved hearing Meyer’s stories of serving in World War II, seeing his medals and learning valuable life lessons.

“We loved visiting Meyer. He was so interesting. Even though we were there for him, we got a lot from it, too,” Howard said.

After Meyer passed away a little over a year ago, Howard and his family reached out to Meyer’s wife, Jean, to ask if they could keep visiting her. Jean delightfully agreed. As a result, Howard’s wife, Barbara Baumann and daughter, Evelyn, joined the visits.

The family spends time with Jean every couple of weeks playing games, eating goodies and having fun together.

“It’s great for us as a family,” said Barbara. “We loved Meyer, and we love Jean. We see this as a way to unplug as a family and spend time together. We put it on the calendar and look forward to every visit.”

Jean often comes to participate in family activities, or to attend special things the kids are doing.

“Jean has become a member of our extended family,” said Barbara.

To learn more about how you can be part of United Way’s Open Your Heart to a Senior program, visit

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