My Story

My grandma was my inspiration for launching this support service for seniors. I started calling her on Saturdays to offer company and conversation not long after my grandpa passed away. During these calls my grandma told me about her flowers and the squirrels in the yard and what she had eaten for lunch that day. Sometimes she talked about my grandpa, or her first job at the sugar beet factory, or what it was like growing up in the 1930s. She shared both the things that made her happy and the things that she regretted. Mostly we laughed, but sometimes we cried.

Members of my family told me how much my grandma looked forward to our calls. She said they were a highlight of her week and through them she felt cared for and connected to the world outside of her apartment. After she passed away, I realized our calls had been a highlight of my week, too.

I started thinking about other people who–for one reason or another–might not have an opportunity for regular, meaningful connection. Then the pandemic arrived, and it became increasingly clear to me that a lack of social connection is an urgent problem–one that significantly impacts people’s mental and physical well-being.

I realized I have something to offer because building and nurturing relationships is my superpower. My natural curiosity and empathy help put people at ease and allow them to feel seen. I regularly experience how good it feels to have focused one-on-one time with others: learning, sharing, listening and appreciating. I thought, maybe this is a way for me to help brighten someone’s day.

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