ABOUT THE PROJECT
How Volunteer GrandKids Works:
When you become a VOLUNTEER GRANDKID, we train you, then match you with a lonely volunteer GrandParent at an assisted living facility, a nursing home, or a rehab facility.
Volunteer GrandKids is a “Team” and “Buddy” Program
When Volunteer Grandkids go to a facility, you go as part of a large team. Within that team, you buddy up with a friend (or a parent if you choose) so that there are always two of you when you visit your GrandParent.
Volunteer GrandKids Selection Process
Before you and your buddy begin training, you must go be interviewed by GRAND-KIDS staff to discuss expectations of all parties involved. When all paperwork is completed and processed, the core group of volunteers is selected and notified.
Volunteer GrandKids Training
In the first week of the program, you will receive 3 hours of formal training in a group classroom setting. You are then matched with a “Grandparent” by the facility where the Grandparent lives.
One of your activities as a Volunteer GrandKid is to prepare a Memory Book that highlights the major accomplishments and warmest memories of your adopted Grandparent’s life.
In the 7th week, your Volunteer GrandKids team and all your “adopted” grandparents come together for a wonderful social program where each of you will present your Memory Books to your adopted GrandParents.
Each week when a Grand Kid meets a GrandParent, both embark on a journey of love, bonding and relationship. They start capturing the memorable moments of their life and learn valuable lessons on how to be effective leaders of tomorrow.
Genesis of GrandKids
In 2005 Nisha Mandani joined the Friend to Friend program at Mease Hospital in Dunedin Fl. Her assignment was to visit home bound elderly and help them get groceries and medications. Many times she would be their only visitor for days or weeks. One day an elderly lady pointed to a grasshopper on her porch and said “he hasn’t moved an inch in 2 days”. Dismayed at the realization that there are so many elderly who were isolated and depressed, Nisha got her nine year old son, Ishan, involved. Not only did Ishan have an instant bond with the elderly but he also found their stories interesting. Both Ishan and the elderly lady were looking forward to future visits.
Ms. Mandani reasoned that if her son and the seniors he visited appreciated each other, perhaps the experience could be repeated. She sought the aid and experience of the local Hospice and Red Cross to design a training manual with the purpose of bringing Community awareness and instilling competencies among youths to interact with the elderly. The Boys and Girl Scouts of America also assisted in designing 10/20 weeks of training to exchange activities and to integrate interests between generations.