The Real Humanitarians

I have never thought of myself as a humanitarian, but then again, who am I to argue with Commissioner Mae Carpenter? She brilliantly runs the Public Private Partnership for Aging Services in Westchester, making sure our seniors are well cared for. This week, in front of 200 guests she presented me with a humanitarian award.  It was indeed an honor I will cherish.

But, here’s the back story. Some years ago, Mae told me about these apartment buildings in New Rochelle and Mount Vernon, whose residents have “aged in.”  These buildings are now tenanted primarily by seniors, most of whom stay all day in their apartments with few, if any, opportunities for socialization. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful” Mae supposes “if ArtsWestchester could bring an artist to these places, so the seniors would have a reason to gather around an arts activity?”  I say to myself, “Who am I to argue with Mae Carpenter?” So, that’s what we do. We bring the arts to the seniors like Mae said we should. Now, I ponder, who are the real humanitarians?  Mae Carpenter, for sure, but also the ArtsWestchester board members because year after year they raise funds to bring the arts to many seniors who are otherwise healthy, but suffer from isolation. It’s all about dignity.

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