Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Our Folks

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature intergenerational program ideas that were tried and successful. This series is a tool to highlight various age-optimized programs and practices. The program descriptions are provided by representatives of the programs. Inclusion in this series does not imply Generations United’s endorsement or recommendation, but rather encourages ideas to inspire other programs.

In part 22 of our series, we feature Our Work, a program of Groundwork Hudson Valley.

(Check our archives for parts 1-21.)

Launched in the fall of 2008, Our Folks aims to get youth involved in efforts to help older adults in their community age in place.

To do this, the team, comprised of students from Riverside High School, interviewed a number of older adults to find people who still live in their homes and need help maintaining them.

Groundwork staff and local professionals taught the students landscaping and home repair skills like tree-pruning, painting, weeding, planting, lawn-mowing, etc. enabling them to work with the home-owners to make needed repairs.

The second goal of this program is to bridge the generation gap by bringing people together over shared projects and shared lunches! 

The students and homeowners prepare meals together and spend time getting to know each other over lunch. Our first year with this project proved that very meaningful relationships can come out of this interaction, and that there is much to be learned on both sides.

Primary funding for this program is provided by the United Way of Westchester and Putnam and the Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by the Westchester County Youth Bureau, St. Faith’s House Foundation, and the Thomas & Agnes Carvel Foundation.

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Why not tweet your cool intergenerational ideas to #cooligideas? You can also post them to our Intergenerational Connections Facebook Group or just text us through the Facebook Messenger app (friend me to join our Cool Intergenerational Ideas group discussion). We want to highlight innovative age-optimized programs and practices through our blog, social media and weekly e-newsletter! Share the inspiration.

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