Faces of LINKages

We are excited to introduce this month’s blog post, “Faces of LINKages”

In this edition we are interviewing a volunteer. Read along to get know one of the many amazing people that help make LINKages work. 

Meet Mimi Tang!

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Name: Mimi Tang

Type of Volunteer: Community Volunteer

  1. When did you join LINKages Society, and what do/did you do in your volunteer role?

The first event that I did with linkages was Intergenerational Day June 1 2016. I had so much fun. We first went to the senior homes to walk the seniors to Stephen Ave. for the event.  I was helping promote the day (event) and handed out some chocolates to the people that were passing by.
 

2.  What was your favorite volunteering experience, event/program, or interaction? What made it so special?
I think that would be the six-week project for Canada 150. I really enjoy coming up with a collective creative idea that everyone could participate in. b What really made it special was building the long-term relationships with the seniors and other volunteers that were committed to the six weeks.

3.  How did volunteering with LINKages Society make a difference in your own life as well as others?

I think I have gain more patience and the desire to learn and listening to others. I feel everyone has their story.

4.  What else are you involved in? This can be your program you’re taking in school, or other extra-curricular activities.

I am a very involved student at bow valley college, when I am not in classes I am helping where ever and how ever I can.  I am a Business student studying Public Relations and Digital Marketing.

5.   Please tell us what your future endeavors are! (This does not have to be related to LINKages; it can refer to your future career aspirations, plans to travel, etc.)

In the future, I hope to gain a job in the field of Public Relations when I am done my studies.

Back to School!

LINKages is ready and excited for the new school year and we’ve been gearing up for our info sessions at schools around the city to start collecting applications for our Intergenerational school programs. We receive so many applications from students and it is really great to see youth who are excited to volunteer!

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Our Intergenerational school programs are mutually beneficial for both senior and youth in so many ways. We are constantly amazed by the things that the youth learn from their senior friend, as well as the impact the friendships have on both the senior and the youth. Although there is a long list of these benefits we could provide, it is so much easier to see these benefits in the words of the participants. Here are just a few examples from students and seniors of the benefits they experienced in our programs:

Three students made very sensitive speeches about their experience with LINKages. They said that they were very nervous the first day but at the end of the program they felt that the hour with their senior friend went by way too fast.  A student in that program admitted, “I thought we would be here for the seniors, but we learned a lot from them.” 

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At one care center, a facilitator played a clip from the song, Chicken Dance, and the kids got up and did the actions/dance, the seniors lit up. They started to move. At the end, one of the senior women said, "That was so much fun! I laughed so hard I thought I would pee my pants!"

An emotional reunion happened on a visit to a care center. One of the seniors and a student were paired last year, but it was arranged for them to see each other again in this particular visit. At the moment they saw each other, they gave each other a huge hug and the student even cried. She kept saying “thank you for making this possible, I missed her so much.”

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At a Wind-Up party at the end of the school year, a senior remarked, “I have been coming to LINKages for many years now, and I like connecting with the students. They are like my grandchildren.” At that same Wind-Up party, a student added, “I like visiting with my senior friend. It makes a difference in my life to be able to come here and talk with her.”

If you would like to donate to LINKages intergenerational programming and hear more inspirational stories like these in the future, click on the “donate here” bar at the top of the page.

A Quick Look Back at LINKages Canada 150 Celebrations

Canada 150, what a year it was!

LINKages kicked off our celebrations of Canada 150 with the opening of our ‘Sharing Intergenerational Stories Contest’. This contest was open to youth ages 30 or under and adults 55+ to inspire youth and seniors to connect and share stories of Canada, while learning from one another in the process. We were very excited to see some of the amazing projects that were to come.

LINKages paid special attention to two milestone events in 2017, World Heritage Month and Canada Day. LINKages celebrated World Hertiage Month in April with an exciting Festival of performers and traditional food from different countries to acknowledge Canada’s diverse cultural heritage. There was even a puppet play about Canada’s history put on by youth volunteers and seniors! Everyone came together to enjoy this fun, multicultural, and intergenerational event.

All of the submissions for our Canada 150 Contest were incredible and showed the creativity that comes from intergenerational friendships. As the contest came to a close, winners of our Canada 150 contest were chosen and given their prizes.  LINKages heard some amazing decisions for what the seniors and youth should do with their prize. One such example was a group who collectively decided to donate their prize back to LINKages, so that more intergenerational programs such as the one they attended can happen. LINKages staff were truly touched!

We also celebrated an early Canada Day in June with a special Canada 150 celebration and wrap up of our intergenerational contest at the Core Shopping Centre downtown. This fun, entertaining and free event had everything from stilt walkers and magicians, to airbrush tattoos and Indian folk dancing! Winners of our Canada 150 Contest had their projects displayed for everyone to see the amazing work they had completed. Youth volunteers and seniors both enjoyed the festivities and helped complete a quote poster full of ‘Reasons We Love Canada.’

Thank you to everyone who was involved in our events and contest this year! We had so much fun and we hope you did too. Canada 150 has been the best opportunity to learn from intergenerational friendships because celebrating youth and seniors is celebrating Canada. If you’d like to know more about the benefits of youth and senior friendships, or to hear more about LINKages intergenerational programming, don’t hesitate to let us know! Contact us through facebook, Instagram, or twitter, or you can email info@link-ages.ca.