From the beginning we knew that with the creation of Preserving with Purpose and capturing the life stories of individuals there had to be a connection piece with our younger generations. As technology and life advances, some feel left in the dark. Our younger generations were growing up further away from family and not having the time to take in skills passed down from our grandparents, let alone have the time to sit and listen at their feet, of the stories of the past. On the flip side, most grandparents are aging in settings of loneliness, seeing family members less and less, forcing them to adapt to learning new ways of technology to stay in touch.
God put it on our hearts to create a program that would enrich the lives of our children and seniors. With goals of connection, building deep relationships and providing a purpose filled life; Preserving with Purpose launched Generational Joy on December 17, 2019.
We test piloted a class with 8 children and 8 residents of MorningStar Senior Living. Our plan was to partner the children up with a resident and make a reindeer head piece (craft). During this time the children and seniors mixed well, asking for coloring help and guidance. All were connecting with the person next to them like they had been friends or family all along.
Next we all learned the “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” song. Seeing faces light up; children and even some residents sing loudly got us all into the Christmas spirit. After three practices and the previous craft time, we felt a snack was in order. Reindeer rice Krispy treats for all. As they all enjoyed their snack, it was like we parents didn’t need to be there at all. The children moved into the memory care center and sang the Rudolf Song for those resident. It was touching! Residents were singing and clapping along and asking about the children.
Saying goodbye was the hardest. Little Miss Alexandra (age 4) told her mom and I that she didn’t want to leave. The residents asked if we would be coming back. There is a need and a desire for connection in our world, and that need crosses over generations; seeing only life- not age, not disability, not color, not memory loss.
We are looking forward to continuing Generational Joy in 2020 and hope you can be a part of it!