Every May we are given the opportunity to celebrate older Americans and focus on their contributions in our lives and communities. Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the annual observance which began in 1963 offers a special opportunity to learn about, support, and recognize our nation’s older citizens. The theme for 2020 is “Make Your Mark”, selected to encourage and celebrate countless contributions that older adults make to our communities. Their time, experience, and talents benefit family, peers, and neighbors every day. This year’s theme highlights the difference everyone can make – in the lives of older adults, in support of caregivers, and to strengthen communities even in these unprecedented times.
Though we cannot be together physically, thanks to advances in technology we have the opportunity to connect in different ways. Through Zoom calls, Face Time, letters of encouragement, online bingo, and drive-by parades people across the world are coming together to ensure our most beloved community of seniors know they are not alone.
Along with the ACL we encourage you to engage with the seniors in your lives, this month and always. To kick off the month we have a few suggestions on how you can take advantage of this time home with one another to “Make Your Mark”!
Share Your Stories
Stories build community and connect us even when we can’t be physically together. Recalling adventures with childhood friends, that family weekend at the beach, a teacher who helped guide your life, or how you learned you would become a grandparent—all of those stories connect you with your past and the people who have mattered along the way. Sharing what we love about our friends and family members helps them feel stronger and more connected.
Stories can be told over the phone, on the computer, over the backyard fence. They can be told in letters, in pictures, in headlines and photographs collected from newspapers. We don’t have to be together to share our stories and build each other up.
Inspire Your Community
Encourage individuals to share stories with the people they live with, in writing, in pictures, or by phone or video call. Make the following ideas your own and promote them through social media, check-in phone calls, a flyer handed out with home-delivered meals, or another way you’re connected to your community. If you really like one of the questions or ways to share, focus your efforts there. This kind of inspiration can be as broad or narrow as you’d like—customize for your community.
This May, we invite you to make your mark by contributing to end social isolation and help H.O.M.E. continue to foster joy, independence and for Chicago’s low-income seniors. Tomorrow is #GivingTuesdayNow and an opportunity to double your impact in the lives of Chicago’s seniors. No matter how small or large, every donation counts, every donation can make a difference. Please visit our GoFundMe campaign to learn more about this global day of unity and pledge your support to give the gift of connection to our beloved community.
Looking for a way to get involved with seniors in Chicago? Find out more by following the link below.
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