GWINNETT DAILY POST - July 24, 2018
PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE: Mending the Gap, Inc. offers companionship, support to local seniors who need a hand
by Ashley Buda (Mending the Gap, Inc. volunteer)
Connection with a Gracious Veteran!
“This is my friend; she’s interviewing me,” a 97 year old Mary Pittman said to the assistant who entered her room.
I smiled at the perplexed lady who walked into the quaint living room to find me seated no more than five feet across from Ms. Pittman, tripod by my side, the camera on top of which was pointed directly at Ms. Pittman. “I’m with Mending the Gap”, I explained to the assistant who made a few remarks before exiting and wishing us a good interview.
Ms. Pittman referred to me as her friend. Such amiable interactions and conversations that turn into friendships are the norm at Mending the Gap, Inc. – an intergenerational nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for middle and high school students as well as older volunteers to visit seniors like Ms. Pittman, offering company and companionship among other services. But these intergenerational relationships are two-way streets.
What do a 97 year old and a 22 year old student have in common? A lot, actually. “Somebody gave me chocolate at Bingo last night and I ate it as soon as I got home.” Yes, Ms. Pittman, Amen. I too have very little self-control around chocolate.”
Ms. Pittman spoke candidly about some of her experiences serving as a nurse in World War II. I was amazed by her recollection. I found it easy to relate to my new friend, in many ways bolstered by my intense respect and admiration for her.
Ms. Pittman lives alone, but shares residency with other seniors at an independent living facility in Gwinnett County. Mending the Gap, Inc. offers practical support services to residents here and at other low-income senior residences in Gwinnett. In Ms. Pittman’s words, “All I know is that I think they’re great.”
I graciously thanked Ms. Pittman for sharing her story and I’m equally grateful to Mending the Gap, Inc. for providing the opportunity. When I’m back in town on break from college, I’ll be sure to stop by and bring some chocolate for us to share.
For more about Mending the Gap, Inc., go to www.mending-the-gap.org
Mending the Gap, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose focus is to inspire youth and enrich the lives of older adults. They do this by offering basic needs support and companionship, while providing opportunities for intergenerational collaboration and engagement.
People Helping People is a publication of the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services. For more information contact Ellen Gerstein at email@example.com or call 770-995-3339.