Help offered to seniors
Published 9:19 pm Wednesday, September 3, 2014
A man who earned the moniker Redemption Man after overcoming “struggles on the streets” to help at-risk teens is now turning his attention to seniors.
Antwan Robinson Sr. runs C.H.O.I.C.E (Children Helping Other Individuals See Elevation) with wife Magaline, the chief executive officer, and Gerald Cheeks-Bryant, the program’s secretary.
Before C.H.O.I.C.E. launched, Robinson organized a teen event at his church, Faith Temple Ministries, last November, supported by Suffolk Police Department’s anti-gang division and juvenile probation and parole officers.
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Robinson says he found God and turned his life around after struggling with drugs and spending time in prison. The event at Faith Temple was aimed to prevent young people from going down his earlier path.
Meanwhile, a C.H.O.I.C.E. initiative over the summer has just closed out at the Salvation Army building. Children ages 5 and over attended three days a week, learning about Christianity and receiving counseling, Robinson said.
Robinson and his C.H.O.I.C.E. colleagues have named this month Seniors September. Right now, he said, eight young men are looking for seniors in need of help.
Robinson cited cleaning out garages, small home repair jobs, painting, landscaping and pressure washing as the types of things they can do.
“We have young elders that really can’t get around their house like they used to,” he said. “We have a lot can’t afford to get things done — that’s also where we came along.”
A reporter caught up with Robinson, his wife and Cheeks-Bryant on Tuesday at the Webb Street home of 76-year-old Estelle Wilkins.
Wilkins pointed out to Robinson a leak that needs fixing badly. “It’s good to think that the young people do these things for the seniors,” she said.
A licensed contractor has volunteered to help the young men during such jobs, Robinson said, teaching them new skills as they go.
“We also may have people coming in with trucks and lawnmowers to help out when we do cleanouts,” he said.
Other volunteers are welcome to join, he said, and potential recipients are welcome to reach out by calling 409-7689 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s also a communication thing as far as fellowship with each other,” Robinson said.
“We are all God’s children, and we all need to come together and help seniors out.”
“I was so inspired by them that we had the police department come to do a session at church,” Cheeks-Bryant said, adding, “God just sent me — I had to help him.”