A Family Legacy of Helping Hands at Selfhelp Continues
Meet Our Volunteer: Max L.
Meet Max Levine, a 21 year-old Biology and Global Health student at Northwestern University who’s passionate about helping people and plans to go to medical school when he graduates.
One of the many places where Max volunteers his time is Selfhelp. He visits us weekly in our long-term care community listening to residents’ stories, helping with tasks, and being a great companion to our residents.
A History of Volunteering at Selfhelp Since Childhood
Max first volunteered at Selfhelp when he was just 10 years old. As a child, Max visited our home with his 5th grade classroom from Bernard Zell for an intergenerational program with our residents. Max’s class made Purim gift baskets for our home (michloach manot) and they also led an art class for our residents where everyone painted together. The photo below is from when Max visited Selfhelp with his choir in 2013 to perform Jewish songs for our community.
“I’ve been visiting residents at The Selfhelp Home by myself since I was a kid as well. I did my Bar Mitzvah project at The Selfhelp Home when I was 13 years old and visited residents every week. I also came to see residents regularly in high school before COVID happened.” – Max
Today, Max still visits residents and says it has been a fulfilling experience for him because he gets to learn about different people’s interesting life experiences and offer them comfort when they need it.
“I like being there for people who are more vulnerable and going through a difficult time. That’s really the reason I want to be a doctor.” – Max
Max’s lifelong family values of service and tikkun olam in Judaism have been a significant influence on his volunteering spirit. Max also dedicates his time to the Center on Halsted, the Midwest’s largest community center dedicated to advancing the LGBTQ movement. Being such an empathetic individual, Max is a valuable member of their team assisting the youth and HIV patients. He believes that everyone deserves respect and equal treatment, and he’s proud to be part of an organization that advocates for this.
A Family Legacy at The Selfhelp Home
Fun fact: Max’s grandmother, Linda Fine, was the former Executive Director of The Selfhelp Home almost 20 years ago. Even after her passing, she continues to be a great role model for him.
“I can tell my grandma left a legacy at Selfhelp. Some of the people who work here get so emotional when they see me because I remind them of her.”
Max is grateful to continue his grandma’s passion for helping people, and he hopes to inspire others to do the same.
He has formed close bonds with several of our residents and shared how thankful he is for the opportunity to make a difference in their lives. There are a few “regulars” Max visits weekly, including Ira, George, and Rodney.
Continuing a Tradition of Helping Hands
When asked his favorite part about volunteering at The Selfhelp Home, he said:
“My favorite part is honestly just connecting with the residents. I can tell how happy it makes them to see me and to have a conversation with me. And it makes my day to see them laughing and smiling.”
Max plans to continue spending time at Selfhelp and the Center on Halsted long-term, as he believes that volunteering is a meaningful way to give back. He hopes to bring his younger brother, Myles, with him in the summer.
“If you have the time, you should definitely volunteer at Selfhelp…it’s a great experience! You can make meaningful friendships with the seniors and I can tell they really appreciate it when someone comes in to talk with them. It’s a nice thing to do that I look forward to every week.”
Our team knows his grandmother, Linda, would be so proud! We appreciate our incredible community of helping hands like Max who make Selfhelp such a special place.