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Please watch this touching video of what we do for our community with our dedicated volunteers…
A Bridge for the Ages
“We are headed into the most Elder-rich era of human existence and should be celebrating our good fortune at every turn.”
William H. Thomas, M.D
Using U.S. census data, researchers estimate that every day this year, 7,900 people will celebrate their 60th birthday.
The older population–persons 65 years or older–numbered 36.3 million in 2004 representing 12.4% of the U.S. population or about one in every eight Americans. By 2030, this will grow to 20% of the population, more than twice their number in 2000.
We are greeting this “Wave of Wisdom” together with intelligence, responsibility and joy!
Light Heart Foundation began as a seed of compassion and curiosity in the heart of a little girl many years ago. When it was just the right time, that seed pushed forward and revealed a light that would illuminate many hearts and grow a Vision strong and beautiful.
The Light Heart Foundation recently rented a storage container from GP Storage Containers, and when they found out more information about our cause they gave us a 20 ft storage container for free. GP Storage Containers is now a major supporter for our cause, and is just one of the many stories of companies helping out in any way they can.
Realizing the Vision of Light Heart is now a collective community endeavor and joins a nation-wide movement to passionately address the isolation of our Elders and revive our communities.
Visits to the Elderly
The Story of Morris
Frail, slumped over in a wheel chair in the corridor of a sterile looking convalescent hospital, he could have been a “poster boy” for the stereotype of the elderly. Nurses and aides pass by with an obligatory “How are you today, Morris?” He did not respond.…… Pulling up a chair so we could make eye contact, I introduced myself and asked him how he was. I received a response, not a complaint, and that began a conversation that was to last more than an hour.……On my way out, I shared a few of his wonderful stories with a nurse. She said “I would have never guessed that about Morris.” Of course she wouldn’t, there was little time in her difficult schedule to do what a volunteer could do – to sincerely inquire and really wait for an answer, not just about Morris’s health but about his soul.
The political agenda these days seems to be about “protecting our senior citizens”. Though older adults should have better health care and income security, the biggest problems facing elderly people are not heart disease and diabetes, “they are loneliness, helplessness and boredom,” says Dr. William Thomas, a former nursing home physician.
As amazing as it seems, more than half of those seniors living in facilities are left alone with no visitors. When we talk about the elderly, we are not referring to anonymous strangers but to our own parents, grandparents and sooner than we think, ourselves.
In past times, where villages were made up of the extended family communities, the Elders were considered the wise ones, the storytellers to the young so the village’s history was not lost. As the village disappeared so did the reverence for the wisdom the Elders possessed.
In a typical year, Light Heart engages the wisdom of more than a 1000 Elders.
“The relationships that have powered human cultural advancement for tens of thousands of years are a complex set of intergenerational interactions. Taken together, they form the engine that has shaped us, served us, blunted our worst tendencies, and magnified our best.”
William H. Thomas, M.D.
The intergenerational concept is not new but must now be resurrected as an intentional strategy that fits the way we live today.
Generations United of Yavapai County defines intergenerational as:
“people of all ages being equal partners in building a community where all generations thrive and each persons needs, talents and strengths are valued, respected and engaged!”
Light Heart uses this concept as means to our mission.
We believe that the most critical poverty in our society is that of the Spirit from lack of meaningful connections to our family, friends and community.
Light Heart staff share their enthusiasm and delight in getting to know our Elders and the gifts they offer through the grace and fun of our community projects. As we participate with each other, we begin to realize our capacity to love and we reclaim the riches that come from exchange between generations.
These are the resources that will sustain thriving communities.