South Hadley, MA: United Way of Pioneer Valley (UWPV) was proud to sponsor its second annual Grand Friends Day on April 19. The event, which was hosted at the South Hadley Council on Aging, brought youths and seniors together for an afternoon of technological training and intergenerational comradery. Students from YMCA of Greater Holyoke visited the South Hadley Council on Aging, where they helped seniors learn how to better operate smartphones and navigate ever-evolving social media platforms like Facebook.
The event was organized by UWPV’s Youth Generate, a volunteer program design to empower young people to effect positive change in their community. By encouraging participation and volunteerism at an early age, Youth Generate showcases the impact people can make when they work together.
“It was a lot of fun,” reflects Dylan from the Holyoke YMCA. “I taught my senior how to send pictures and text messages to his family, and how to use Facetime.”
“The kids that came were so helpful!” says Judy from the South Hadley Council on Aging. “I have not been able sync my iPad and iPhone, and these two students were able to show me how. I was thinking I would have to buy a new iPad, but these students helped me save about $200!”
UWPV, through Youth Generate and other programs, is committed to education, volunteerism, and uniting the community. Grand Friends Day was a demonstration of United Way’s core principle, that a community is at its best when its individual members are enabled to come together and share their strengths, skills, and resources with those who would most benefit from them.
“It’s really great to see two communities come together like this in an intergenerational project” says Chris Woods, head of the Youth Generate program. “We are happy to have sponsored this project with South Hadley and Holyoke for the last two years, and hope that we can continue the tradition moving forward.”
If you would like to find out more about Youth Generate or other volunteer opportunities, visit: uwpv.org/volunteer
About United Way of Pioneer Valley: United Way of Pioneer Valley has been a leading hub of community organization, advocacy, and charitable giving in Western Massachusetts for over 95 years.
About the South Hadley Council on Aging: The Council on Aging’s mission is to establish policies and work with the director to provide programs and services for elders.
About the Greater Holyoke YMCA: The Greater Holyoke YMCA seeks to help all in the greater Holyoke community achieve their fullest potential in spirit, mind and body.