The summer season is often synonymous with carefree days, sun, and sand. Children eagerly anticipate the season when they are free to play and recharge themselves for the school year ahead. Unfortunately, there are some for whom the summer is not met with such excitement. Senior citizens residing in various eldercare residences often receive fewer visitors during the summer months while many of their regular visitors are traveling or away on vacation. For these individuals, such a respite is often impossible. Agudath Israel of America stepped in to provide senior citizens with regular visitations throughout the summer.
Project STAY, a division of Agudath Israel, promotes inter-generational connection between seniors and the younger generation by providing volunteer visits to nursing homes and homebound residents. This helps alleviate the isolation experienced by the elderly, as well as fosters a sense of gratification on the part of student volunteers who gain a greater understanding and commitment to their community as a result of the program. This year, Agudath Israel expanded the Project STAY program. Day camps were paired up with local nursing homes and programs were arranged to provide the seniors with enjoyable visits from the campers. The campers distributed cheerful cards and performed for the residents. The volunteers’ involvement in the program taught them an invaluable lesson. They learned that not only can giving be fun, but sometimes the most meaningful fun is giving.
This year, over seven day camps took part in this program, visiting more than fourteen nursing homes throughout the tristate area. In total, over 200 children visited approximately 2300 residents.