North Philadelphia woman calls on friends to serve seniors and veterans

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — “I love to serve. My family always did that. That’s what I do,” said Dr. Shirlana Dash.

dr Dash has had many roles from social worker, author, motivational speaker, and now Chief Operating Officer of SELF, Incorporated, a staffing agency. But through it all, she found a place in her heart for seniors and veterans.

“In 2016, I saw a story about food insecurity and the elderly, and it really concerned me,” she said.

dr Dash was already used to cooking lots of food and throwing big family gatherings. But after her spark of inspiration, she decided to take her talents and her friends out into the world.

“The first place we went was Opportunities Towers in North Philadelphia,” she said. “It’s a residential complex for seniors. And we took in about 30 volunteers.”

Today, over four years later and with an official non-profit organization in tow, “Dr. Dash and Friends” returned to this very spot for an afternoon of food, gifts and dancing.

“Sometimes people tend to forget that we exist and that we like doing things and being recognized,” said Dolores Biggs, a resident of Opportunities Towers. “The fact that Dr. Dash is taking so much time to do this work is a tremendous thing.”

dr Dash and Friends has expanded with relatives doing similar work in Florida. Both groups offer bi-monthly community outreach in their respective areas.

To learn more about her work, visit her website.

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