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2011 Intergenerational Volunteer Award Recipient

 

Intergenerational Award- Grad-Kids and Close 2 Heart programs, Safety, Harbor, Florida

The Mandani Family formed the Grand-Kids and Close2Heart programs. The Grand-Kids program adopts individual seniors at Accordia Woods Assisted Living home in Palm Harbor and visits them each week for 10 weeks.  Having volunteered and assisted hospice patients for years, the Mandanis’ didn’t want to leave out residents who are terminally ill, but understood that many would not live to complete the full 10 week program.  Therefore, Close2Hearts was created to allow youth to volunteer in a condensed version of the program with hospice residents.

 The children that participate in the Grand-Kids and Close2Heart programs attend Elder Sensitivity training workshops. The workshops have proven to be effective in teaching participants to experience the effect of sensory losses that are common to the process of aging.

Nisha Mandani sought the aid and experience of the local Hospice and Red Cross to design a training manual to bring community awareness by instilling competencies among youths to interact with diverse groups of elders. Boys and Girls Scouts assisted in designing 10 to 20 weeks of knowledge exchange activities to integrate interests between generations. Hospice residents may not be able to participate in all of the activities so they capture their memorable moments of life and other life achievements in a journal, which they give to the family.

Even though the visits are short, they make a huge impact on both the seniors and the youth. At the end of both programs, the children make journals for the seniors to document their lives and their experiences in the program. The programs were honored by the Dunedin City Commission, and have been approved by Pinellas County Schools to use as volunteer hours toward Bright Futures Scholarships.

click to see picture of Grad-Kids and Close 2 Heart programs.

click to see picture of Grad-Kids and Close 2 Heart programs

click to see picture of Grad-Kids and Close 2 Heart programs

click to see picture of Grad-Kids and Close 2 Heart programs

click to see picture of Grad-Kids and Close 2 Heart programs

click to see picture of Grad-Kids and Close 2 Heart programs