Did you know that September 10th is National Grandparent’s Day? Let’s do something grand about it, and show the elderly in our communities how much they mean to us.

Many senior citizens are dependent on nursing homes for survival but may be very far away from their families. Others may not have families at all or don’t interest their families enough to make them visit. These homes can be very lonely places and the residents within them often fall depressed.

Generations United has fought hard to implement programs and efforts to connect the young with the old. We have a lot we can learn from one another, and a lot of joy that we can give to the other.

We’re challenging our ambassadors this month to adopt some grandparents that might not be fortunate enough to have their own grandchildren. It could be as simple as a stack of homemade cards sent to your local nursing home, or an actual visit where children can sit down with a grand stranger and make their day with a simple game of cards or bingo. Whatever you’re able to give this month to your local senior citizens will make a grand difference for your whole community.

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Items Needed

  1. Construction paper, markers, or whatever else desired to make cards for your new grand friends
  2. A free afternoon for a short visit to a local nursing home (or either drop off your cards or visit)
  3. A stack of playing cards, or a new game/toy you can share with your new grand friends if visiting
  4. An adult to accompany you or help you send cards
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How to do This Month’s Challenge

  1. Whenever you have free time this month make a few cards for anonymous “grand friends” at a local nursing home. Residents will be thrilled to get a surprise. Cards can be as simple as “Dear Friend, Hope you’re having a great day. I learned about _____ in school today, and most enjoy doing ________.” Include a drawing if you like. Remember that grand friends can learn as much from you as you can from them!
  2. If you’re able to visit a local nursing home this month, have an adult help you contact for visitation hours. Nursing homes are generally very encouraging of youth involvement. Join some new friends for a game hour and bring one of your favorite games. Or show your new friends a favorite book or toy they may not be familiar with. They’ll cherish any company you’re able to give.
  3. Have a young baby sibling? Ask a parent if the whole family wants to come. Nursing home residents don’t get to see many babies, and the experience can be just as exciting and therapeutic for them as visiting with therapy animals. A meet and greet in a common area will make their week- maybe even their year! Make sure everyone in your family is in good health before visiting.
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Reflection Questions

  1. What do you think children can teach elderly people?
  2. What do you think elderly people can teach children?
  3. What sort of surprises do you like?
  4. How do you think the elderly residents felt when they received your surprise?
  5. What sort of activities do you think children should frequently do with elderly friends/grandparents?
  6. What did you like most about making cards for/visiting new grand friends?
  7. Did you talk with new grand friends? What did you enjoy about it?
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