Smile Seekers is a Riverside home-grown non-profit corporation whose goal is to unite the youth of this country with the forgotten elderly. Started 16 years ago by Jim Baldwin, the organization has literally connected thousands of adult and youth volunteers with the elderly through their convalescent-visitation program.
Baldwin came from a life of addiction. After becoming clean, he was approached by some friends who needed a ride to visit their dying father in a convalescent hospital. “While waiting for them, I decided to walk around and say hello to some of the people in the care center. Every room I walked into, people were dying of loneliness.” When he returned to Riverside, he called a local convalescent hospital and asked if he could visit even though he had no relatives there. The woman on the other end of the phone asked if “we could come right now”.
While continuing his convalescent ministry today, Smile Seekers was also instrumental in creating Smile Seekers House in Nairobi, Kenya. The 3-story stone building is a home for children made orphans due to Africa’s AIDS epidemic, and their “Goats for School” program provides the orphans with goats whose milk and offspring help offset the cost of their education.
Smile Seekers demonstrates Riverside as a Unified City – people coming together for common goals and interests for the betterment of all.
For more information on Smile Seekers, contact Jim Baldwin at (951) 452-9212 or visit their webpage.