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Union County Seniors Donate Retirement Time [AUDIO]

Two Union County seniors are logging long hours at their advanced age to give back to their community.

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Their names are Bill Goldfischer and Eddie Michaelis. They are 89 and 90 years old, respectively.

Each weekday they put in hours in the kitchen at the YM-YWHA of Union County, which is a Jewish Community Center.

Goldfischer heads the kitchen, for what is supposed to be a part-time job. However, he registers up to triple the hours he’s scheduled for in any given week. Michaelis receives no pay at all, just volunteers his time.

The Y is the only kosher five-day-a-week senior congregate lunch site in Union County, where the kitchen prepares over 9,000 meals a year for older adults. Hundreds more are prepared each week for children and staff in the daycare program, as well as homebound seniors.

So what keeps these men so vibrant and selfless at their age?

“If I wasn’t working, I’d sit home and eat and sleep,” Goldfischer said.

“Otherwise, you vegetate and you don’t do anything,” Michaelis explained.

For 25 years, Goldfischer has been in the kitchen at the Y to begin his day at around 6 a.m., where he orders the food, does all the purchasing, and oversees all lunch preparation. Michaelis has been at his side for the past 18 years.

“It makes me feel good at the end of the day that, at least, I did something,” Michaelis said. “I didn’t just sit around doing nothing and try to help people in the little way I can.”

“We’re ready to help the seniors that come in in any way we can with food, or what not,” Goldfischer said.

The program is funded by the Y, which is a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ and the New Jersey Division on Aging.

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Maureen Spataro

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