|Doing Good Together Newsletter|
Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
Make a Difference... Visiting older adults is a wonderful opportunity for intergenerational connections. Seniors get welcomed companionship, and children learn to respect the elderly and gain from their wisdom and experience. Plus, it's an ideal volunteer opportunity for families with children of all ages. You can arrange a one-time visit or begin an ongoing relationship. To learn more about friendly visiting, check out www.friendlyvisiting.org or www.littlebrothers.org. If you don't have a senior in mind, contact your local senior center or care facility and ask the volunteer coordinator about being matched with a senior to visit.
Talk About It The respected Merrin Institute at DOROT ("dorot" means generations in Hebrew) developed a guide for parents who plan to visit an elderly person with their children. Here are their tips for a great visit:
Learn About It Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox is the touching story of a young boy who lives next door to a home full of old folks. One reviewer admires its "non-patronizing focus" on the elderly.
Photo: Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
"We've put more effort into helping folks reach old age than into helping them enjoy it."
- Frank A. Clark
The Connolly family is a big and busy bunch. But one thing this family of 10 lacks are grandparents in close proximity to their LeSeur, Minn., home. That's one reason they spend one Sunday each month at the Edina (Minn.) Care and Rehabilitation Center run by the Volunteers of America. Jenneil and Andrew Connolly say they like the idea of instilling in their children (ages 2 months to 14 years) a sense of familiarity and comfort around elders.
The family's church created this once-monthly Sunday volunteer opportunity. But while other families from the church occasionally help out, the Connollys are regular monthly participants. All of the children accompany residents from their rooms to a worship service, and back afterwards. The older kids also contribute their piano and violin talents to the service- inspiring some attendees to sing along. Meanwhile, 2- year-old Aspen and her mother sometimes slip out during the service to greet other residents.
Photo: The Connolly family
If you live in the Twin Cities, you'll want to receive our free monthly list of family volunteer opportunities. We canvas the Twin Cities to compile a creative roster of fresh, timely family volunteer projects. Our list is ideal for families seeking one-time or ongoing projects. It includes five different family volunteer opportunities 10 months a year. Click here to sign up. Simply enter your email address in the box and hit send.