Connections | October 2020

Connections | October 2020

Link Generations in the Time of Corona

Connecting with each other is more important than ever during this time of uncertainty and social isolation. We know this from the 830 students who have reached out to Link Generations to find out how they can help people in our community feel connected through sending letters and artwork to spread messages of hope. 450 students have created 8600 pages of content!

We were thrilled to be invited to a Delta Sigma Theta of Howard University meeting attended by 35 sorority members ages 18-90 to talk about best practices for writing letters to our friends at Charles E. Smith Life Communities.

We are grateful to our students from the Link Generations Club at Gaithersburg High School and have formed new collaborations with ACES at Universities at Shady Grove, John F. Kennedy High School National Honor Society, Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, and Winston Churchill High School’s Scribo Club. At the college and alumni level, we are working with University of Maryland College Park service fraternities who have created pen pal kits for their members to write post cards to older adults in the community. Our internship program has grown to include University of Maryland College Park and University of Maryland Global Campus.

 

Meaningful Expressions of Connection

“Thank you so much for the opportunity! The thought that the isolated older adults will be enjoying my letters makes me smile. :)”
Student Volunteer
Older adults in the community feel the connection. Staff tell us assisted living residents “love the cards. Many have displayed them in their rooms!”
“I found that making those pictures not only helps older adults by spreading positivity, it also helps me. Writing positive things can really cheer someone up! So thank you so much for this opportunity!”
Student Volunteer
“We are so grateful for the opportunity to help the community! Thank you for all you do! Link Generations is an awesome program and we are glad to help make someone's day.”
Student Volunteer
“Drawing/ painting is one of my kids’ favorite things to do..so happy that they got this opportunity to volunteer. The last two days, it was interesting to watch their discussions about what could cheer up an isolated person. This activity is guiding them to feel more compassionate towards others. Thanks again for this volunteer opportunity.”
Student's Parent
“Thank you for giving my girls some structure during this time of our 'new normal' and the opportunity to share their creativity with our community.”
Student's Parent

Link Generations Program Works Online!

As one of our 94-year old participants once said, “This program works. We don’t always know how it is going to work, but it always works.” Now we know that our program works through Zoom!

We piloted our signature Summer Storytelling Series for 4 weeks during the summer with Ingleside at King Farm using Zoom, and it worked! We did it again in September with Greater Stonegate Village members and are scheduling more sessions throughout the fall.

Participants from both generations discovered shared experiences and found out they can both learn and teach each other important lessons.

Next week, we are starting Teens Teach Technology “office hours” through Zoom. Contact lori@linkgenerations.org if you’d like to ask questions about technology from experts – our high school volunteers!

Link Generations Joins #GivingTuesday

The 2020 global health crisis has magnified the Link Generations mission to connect people of all ages. The need to physically distance to prevent further spread of Covid-19 is leading to the next public health crisis of social isolation and loneliness. Gerontologists distinguish between social isolation (the objective experience of social contact with others) and loneliness (the subjective feeling of pain due to unmet human needs for meaningful connection to other people). Loneliness is prevalent in all age groups, most notably among 15-24 year olds and those over 80, the targeted age groups of Link Generations programs.

Link Generations is again joining #GivingTuesday’s international effort to show the importance of charitable giving. This year, our world needs to be focused on basic needs of health and food security. Your donation to Link Generations will go directly to helping the current public health problem of loneliness caused by social isolation. Giving Tuesday is December 1 this year, so please get an early start before the end of the year by clicking on DONATE at our website to help us alleviate the pain caused by loneliness.

Thank you for your continued support of our mission to connect youth and older adults!
Warm regards,
Lori

Wishing everyone a healthy fall season filled with social connections from a safe distance!

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