Care for Kids and Elders: Lean on Me

Although Philadelphia has robust networks of charitable groups providing resources to people in need, it can still be daunting to navigate these public and nonprofit systems—especially for the elderly and for people with health concerns. Here are just a few organizations helping some of our most vulnerable citizens receive food, shelter and health care.


The Center for Advocacy for the Rights & Interests of the Elderly is a proponent for affordable, quality care for older adults, and often acts as a liaison for the elderly and their caregivers.

Who you’ll help
Older adults who need assistance in order to receive proper services from elder-care professionals

What you’ll do
Assist with planning events, accompany crime victims to court, facilitate resident complaints, answer phones and mail, provide accounting or legal support

Surrey Services

With locations in Broomall, Havertown, Media and Devon, this organization provides tens of thousands of volunteer hours to older adults through a wide range of services. 

Who you’ll help
Adults 55 and older who need home care and companionship

What you’ll do
Drive members to medical appointments and errands, minor home repair and gardening work, clerical and data-entry tasks, assist with events

Meals on Wheels

Independently run, local chapters of Meals on Wheels provide prepared food to older citizens. The much-lauded national organization has a number of programs in Philly and surrounding suburbs.

Who you’ll help
People who need prepared meals delivered to their door and cannot necessarily cook or get to the grocery store due to health complications

What you’ll do
Prepare and pack meals, pick up and deliver to seniors’ homes, assist with clerical support, or organize and plan publicity events

Ronald McDonald House

The Philadelphia chapter of this national organization holds two locations in addition to facilities at children’s hospitals and its summer camp. Through private and corporate donors, Ronald McDonald House is able to shelter and support families for $15 a night—or no cost at all if there is an inability to pay.

Who you’ll help
Families with children receiving medical treatment who are in need of shelter

What you’ll do
Welcome and register families looking for a place to stay; assist with mailings, clerical work and phone calls; keep public areas well organized; help with mealtime and transportation tasks

“Working at the front desk, I have had the opportunity to meet the most amazing,
compassionate, strong, generous and loving families from across the world.”  
– Danielle McAdams, a volunteer with Ronald McDonald House