"Friends for Life" are Friends Indeed for Homebound Elderly in Waco, Texas

Faith in Action: Replication of the Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers Program

From 1998 to 1999, Friends for Life, a home visiting program in Waco, Texas formed partnerships with 30 congregations, adding to the dozen faith communities already affiliated with it.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers Program, Faith in Action®, Generation 2 and Generation 3.

Friends for Life hired a director of interfaith ministries who spoke at 132 congregations and other organizations on more than 200 occasions.

Key Results

  • Thirty partner congregations worked with Friends for Life to continue to provide assistance to frail elderly and disabled adults. In all, more than 320 volunteers served 746 people through the grant.

    • One church developed a program that assisted widows with home repairs and chores.
    • Youth groups did yard work and children made cards and gifts for nursing home residents and homebound elderly.
  • The Acton Institute in Michigan recognized Friends for Life as one of the "nation's most compassionate and effective human service initiatives."

  • A report by Fordham University in New York featured Friends for Life as a "best practice model" for innovative work in caring for older persons, and it recognized RWJF for funding the work.