Our motto, “Flowers before Bread,” reflects our belief that “man cannot love by bread alone.”

Since the opening of the first United States chapter in 1959, Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly has been serving socially isolated elders in the spirit of our motto, Flowers before Bread. This signifies that in addition to the basic necessities of life, each one of us has a strong need for the special joys that make life worth living.

At all of our locations, we strive to meet the emotional and physical needs of our elderly friends. For some, isolation comes with growing older. Children move away to follow their work, spouses and friends die, a car wears out and is not replaced, or a driver’s license is surrendered or revoked because of illness. This isolation is compounded by poverty. In these difficult situations we extend a helping hand. We treat our elderly friends as individuals, offering them the gifts of respect and love by visiting, socializing, and providing programs that combat loneliness and promote independent living, helping them remain in their own homes.

As a volunteer-based organization, we rely on people of good will to join us in our efforts. All of our services are free to the elderly and are designed to relieve the isolation and loneliness that can produce emotional pain and mental and physical deterioration.


The organization was founded by a French nobleman, Armand Marquiset, in 1946 as Little Brothers of the Poor. At the end of the World War II, Armand formed Little Brothers to serve isolated and lonely elderly people who had lost their families in in the war. “The greatest poverty,” he often said, “is the poverty of love,” which was reflected in the motto, “Flowers before Bread.”

His powerful example attracted many followers in France and beyond. Little Brothers of the Poor – known now as La Fédération Internationale des petits frères des Pauvres – has spread to nine countries around the world.


April 19, 1946


Official creation of Little Brothers of the Poor Association.


Chicago chapter founded


Minneapolis chapter founded




Boston chapter founded


Upper Peninsula of Michigan chapter founded


Philadelphia chapter founded

San Francisco chapter founded


Cincinnati chapter founded

Throughout the U.S., elderly people suffering from loneliness, tenuousness or loss of self-sufficiency are invisible and forgotten. The mission of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly is to advocate for elders who are isolated and at risk by developing long-term companionships to provide greater well-being and stability, promote independent living and instill a sense of belonging.

The efforts of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly make a real impact, thanks to the commitment of volunteers and the generosity of donors like you. Your support gives hope to elderly people and lets them know they are not forgotten.

Where We Work

Today, the organizations serve 52,500 elderly in the world thanks to 21,000 volunteers

Planned Giving

There are many forms of planned giving that are simple yet gratifying, and do not sacrifice income or security for your own family. All it takes is some basic planning.

✔ Naming one of the chapters of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly as a beneficiary of your will, by setting aside a certain dollar amount or leaving a percentage of your estate/assets.

✔ Naming one of the chapters as a beneficiary of an existing life insurance policy, an IRA, 401(k), 403(b), or other qualified pension plan.

✔ Establishing a new life insurance policy or charitable trust that would benefit one of the chapters of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly.

✔ Many planned gifts may provide tax benefits to you or your loved ones.

Thank you for your generosity.

All contributions are tax-deductible. U.S.-based donors can support our activities in a tax-efficient way.

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Support a chapter

Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly in Boston, Massachusetts Donate

Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly in Chicago, Illinois Donate

Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly in Cincinnati, Donate 

Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly in Houghton County, Upper Peninsula of Michigan Donate 

Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Donate 

Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly in San Francisco, California, Donate

Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota Donate