Giving Families' Good Mail Challenge - February 2016

This month's Challenge is to visit with your neighbors at a nearby nursing home.

It was inspired by this article in Philly Voice, written by Amy Wright Glenn, sharing an elderly man's dream of holding up this sign outside his nursing home: 

 

Ready to help get the conversation started? Here's what you need to know before you go...

STEP ONE:

Select a location. 

TIP: If you're not currently visiting a friend or family member at a nearby nursing home, click here to find one in your area. 

STEP TWO:

Call ahead.

TIP: Ask to speak with the facility's Events Coordinator, scheduling a time during the residents' "Social Hour."

STEP THREE:

Make new friends!

TIP 1: Prepare an activity or two to bring along with you. Here are a few suggestions: 

1. Deliver valentines.

2. Paint the ladies' fingernails.

3. Complete a crossword puzzle together.

4. Rehearse some jokes to tell.

5. Choreograph a short dance routine.

6. Sing a song or two.

7. Play card games like Go Fish or War.

8. Read storybooks together.

9. Conduct a puppet show.

10. Play Twenty Questions.

TIP 2: While driving to the nursing home...

Explain that the nursing home is NOT a playground...that some residents will be using walkers and wheelchairs to help them get around, so it's important to be mindful of that while moving throughout the home.

TIP 3: While at the nursing home... 

Be attentive to your child's observations and available to answer any questions (s)he may have while visiting with the residents.

NOTE: The first time my daughter and I completed this activity, she had LOTS of questions, specifically questions pertaining to the medical devices she had never seen before such as hearing aids, IV stands, and electric voice boxes. Additionally, one woman LITERALLY tried to pay her for spending time with her...no joke. Out of respect, we politely declined, but the woman insisted on giving my daughter two quarters. I'll be sharing more about that experience in an upcoming blog post...be sure to check your email later this month.

 

Document your experiences.

After you've completed the Challenge, print off a copy of our journaling page. 

Discuss the questions on the front, then draw a picture of you and your family completing the Challenge on the back: 

  

Tell us about your adventure!

Please help us inspire more families to make memories while making a difference by sharing photos of you completing this month's Challenge with friends and family via your social media platforms.

If you tag them with @GivingFamilies and/or #GoodMailChallenge, we'll get to see them too! Thanks for helping us spread the word.

  

Want more ideas and activities, supporting this month's Challenge? Check out these related posts:

My TEDx Talk, "Helping Our Littlest Helpers" (describing my daughter's first trip to a nursing home)

More links coming soon!

 

  

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