2017 Nominees Section
Organization: Santa Ana Senior Club
What role does your nominee have in senior care and senior care issues?
Since 1984, President of the Santa Ana Senior Club.
Chairwoman of the Santa Ana Senior Advisory Board.
Awarded and recognized for her work with seniors by the city of Santa Ana.
Why should this person be nominated
According to Francine Harris, she was born with a gene for caring and serving! At the age of 77, she still exemplifies that!
Francine was born in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, but moved to California in 1963 after a divorce from her husband. Convinced by her cousin from California that she could easily find a job paying a whopping $65 per week in California, Francine took her young daughter and made the trip west. Upon arrival in California, Francine realized that her cousins really wanted her to care for their children and were only going to pay her $5.00 per week! So, Francine took care of those kids until she found one of those better paying jobs allowing her to eventually move into a place of her own. D
During that time, she met and married her second husband who brought with him 5 children. After her husband passed away Francine found herself a single parent with 6 children to care for!
Not one to feel sorry for herself and needing to make some money, she cleaned houses, worked the production line putting circuits into computers and worked security for Pinkerton. She also cared for 10 foster children.
Francine believes her “calling” to be helping and caring for others. She did so as a child and has continued to care for others throughout her life. She visits the sick, ministers to the homeless – bringing them clothing and food and reading the Bible with them.
In the 1980’s, Francine joined the Santa Ana Senior Club. As a member, one of the activities she participated in was visiting seniors in the 401 Building, a senior living community in downtown Santa Ana. There she met, visited and cared for many of the residents, including one woman who became her “mom.” Those visits with Mom and the other residents of the 401 Building, became her motivation.
In 1984, she was elected the President of the Santa Ana Senior Club, a position she holds to this day! She was appointed the new Chairwoman of the Santa Ana Senior Advisory Board recently and was presented an award by the city for the work she has done with seniors in Santa Ana.
Everyone seems to know Francine! Francine’s passion is caring and advocating for and serving the needs of Santa Ana’s senior community, which she has been doing since 1984 as a volunteer! I would place a bet that there is almost no senior in Santa Ana who has not crossed paths with Francine Harris! Most days, she can be found at the Santa Ana Senior Center, an active place filled with seniors participating in all sorts of activities, many of which were started by Francine Harris! She even secured a license so that the senior who loved playing Bingo could now win a little money doing so! Since then, many more seniors have discovered the fun of playing Bingo! Drop in and say “Hello!”
Additionally, Francine is the matriarch of the family which includes two great, great grandchildren!