Don Bell: Finding Fulfillment, Friendship, and Purpose

In 2016, Don Bell moved to the North side of Chicago, and through the Reduced Fee Membership program became the 400th member of the Village.


He was truly a man whose life was in transition. He had just lost his mother after 18 years of being her primary caregiver; he had moved away from two adult sons and six grandchildren. He had just turned 65 and as a gay man, was looking forward to being part of the first generation of out LGBT seniors. He says, “In the Village I found just what I needed. I found contemporaries working at living active and purposeful lives. I found powerful women in positions of leadership and men who were not the least bit diminished by it. I found new approaches to re-imagining my aging experience through Life 3.0, and I found commitment to diversity through the LGBT Task Force. It didn’t matter that I was African-American. It didn’t matter that I was from the South side. It didn’t matter that I had limited financial resources. I found welcome.”


Don says, “I am thoroughly committed to what we’re trying to do collectively as The Village Chicago. We are people building a caring and connected community across the barriers of race, class, gender, age, ability, and sexual orientation.  And here I have found not only welcome, but fulfillment, friendship, and purpose.”