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project instructions, reflections, and book ideas to volunteer with your child

Become a Senior Angel

Friendship is the ultimate kindness.

Create a more age-integrated society and instill positive attitudes toward aging by providing your child with positive contacts with a senior. Through weekly correspondence, your family will let seniors know they are remembered and loved.


Possible recipients

Elders who are often home-bound, confined to nursing homes, or in convalescent hospitals and who will look forward to your weekly greetings.

What you’ll need

  • Stationery, greeting cards, pens, drawing or art supplies
  • Occasional small, inexpensive, gifts ($2-$5), such as a box of tea or bar of scented soap
  • Postage

Instructions

  • Go to the Senior Angel website (a program of Chemo Angels) to understand the responsibilities of the program. If you sign up to become a Senior Angel, you’ll be matched with a senior citizen.
  • Send your senior once-a-week chatty letters, friendly cards, uplifting notes, children’s drawings and/or occasional small gift.
  • The Senior Angel program wants to emphasize that you’ll be making a long-term commitment to someone who may come to rely on you, so it’s vitally important that you are able to send your senior at least one piece of correspondence every week.

Reflections

  • What do you think an older person can teach us? What can we learn from them? (Explain that seniors can offer all of us their lifelong wisdom, experience and stories.)
  • How would you feel if you couldn’t walk fast or couldn’t get out to visit your friends?
  • If you were confined to your home or a particular place and couldn’t get out, what would you miss the most?

Resources

  • Sitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye (Simon and Schuster Children’s, 1997). Ages 4-8. A young girl visits her grandmother in a Palestinian village, and their love transcends differences in language and culture.

Take it further

  • Find a nearby elderly neighbor whom you can visit and spend time with, invite to dinner, or bring groceries or necessities to.
  • Contact your local nursing home or care facility and arrange to “adopt” a grandparent.

*Cost can vary greatly on some projects depending on the way you approach them. Consider asking friends and neighbors to “sponsor” your effort if you get excited about a project that may be out of your price range. You might end up with a big-hearted community at your side!

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