Our Intergenerational Secret Valentine's project was a smashing success. We raised $1,222 in cash donations (goal was $1,200). We received another $1,000 in in-kind donations. We reached more seniors than we originally planned, close to 150 (goal was 120) and most of all, youth made connections with seniors where they previously have not. For example, one of the youth volunteers learned how to play checkers from her senior friend. They spent the entire afternoon chatting and talking while playing checkers. Some U of C musicians showed up and serenaded the seniors with tunes so lovely that a youth volunteer invited a senior to dance. The rest of us cheered and clapped.
When the party was over, some of us did not want it to be over. A small group of youth and seniors proceeded to the nearby rec room where a group played crib while a youth guitarist provided background music and sing alongs.
Indeed the seniors were over the moon on this special Valentine's Day as when they returned to their room, they had a surprise Valentine's gift hanging on their door knob. The impact of the event was profound for all of us, youth, seniors, other volunteers and LINKages staff. It truly does not take much to show someone you care and the effects will linger on for a LONG time! Thank you, Calgary. Your generosity will go a long way. With your help, we hope to repeat this next year, on a bigger scale.