Generations United and MetLife Foundation are pleased to recognize five incredible communities with the first ever Best Intergenerational Communities Awards. These awards were created to heighten awareness of the importance intergenerational living and programs play in building strong, supportive communities. The winning entries were selected by a blue ribbon panel of judges.
The residents of Lamoni, Iowa have never let their small population (just under 2,500 people) stop them from thinking big and acting even bigger. Indeed, Lamoni serves as a great example of what a small town can do when its residents believe in themselves and their future together.
When a problem needs fixing or an issue needs attending, residents of every age are ready, willing, and able to help out. Responsibility for intergenerational efforts does not fall to any one group in Lamoni, but is a social norm for community life. All ages work together, and every resident has a special role to play.
You might say intergenerational collaboration is part of the town’s DNA. From the time they’re very young, Lamoni children are exposed to service learning. Schools help partner young people with businesses, civic groups, social clubs, and other youth organizations to work on projects designed to better the community.
One current project, the Lamoni SAFE Coalition, was organized in 1998 to provide quiet, behind-the-scenes support for local families. Through the coalition, high school students, Graceland University students, young adults, middle-age adults, and seniors work together to identify and address local needs.
For more information about Lamoni, Iowa, download America’s Best Intergenerational Communities.