The Grandfather I Never Had

Alex Turney and Mike Lubin

Following his first visit to a Selfhelp Coffee House, Mike Lubin knew he had found his calling as a Selfhelp volunteer. A young real estate executive, Mike was soon introduced to Alex Turney, a 98-year-old widower and Holocaust survivor. From their first meeting, a strong bond and deep affection soon grew.

“Alex is the grandfather I never had,” says Mike. “He connects me with a link to the past.” Mike’s life has been enriched by their warm relationship, Alex’s wisdom and the stories he shares of growing up in Germany.  

“I could never imagine that a total stranger could show up in my life and make such a difference,” says Alex. Mike shops for him, visits, calls frequently, and takes him for walks and to shows. “I lost everyone in Europe. Now I feel like I have a new family. Mike is my lifeline.”

Mike recently joined Selfhelp’s Board of Directors where he works to spread the word about Selfhelp’s essential services. “We are living in a time where there is a lack of care for elders and people in need,” says Mike. “It’s comforting to know that Selfhelp is there to help.” 

Alex Turney has been a client of Selfhelp’s Abraham Scharf Center for Holocaust Survivor Services since 2005. Mike Lubin joined Selfhelp’s Board of Directors in 2016.