Seniors with Skills (SWS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization determined to end social isolation of senior citizens. We have created an Online Buddy Program to reduce loneliness and social isolation seniors may be facing due to COVID-19. See our WNY News interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BE624tRyVN8.
This program connects Seniors with Skills volunteers with seniors who are self-quarantining either in retirement homes or at home. The current COVID-19 crisis has led to further isolation of senior citizens, and SWS wants to do everything possible to help seniors remain socially active during this unprecedented time.
Volunteers from across the country are virtually talking to seniors about current events, where they live, funny stories and how they are spending their time in quarantine. In addition to conversing with the seniors, volunteers are assisting seniors with how to use iPads, tablets, computers, phones, and other technology. In addition to running this Online Buddy Program, SWS is partnering with retirement homes who may not have the technology to connect with our volunteers to deliver iPads and other technological devices.
With over 100 volunteers, we have started the program at a nursing home in Buffalo, New York. We currently have several volunteers videochatting with multiple seniors each day!
WE ARE RAISING MONEY SPECIFICALLY TO SUPPORT THE ONLINE BUDDY PROGRAM. SWS is an entirely volunteer-run organization so all funds go directly to running our programs. We are currently raising money for:
1) Buying technology (tablets, iPads, etc.) for nursing homes who currently do not have the technology to run this program
2) Shipping costs to send out these technology items
3) Background Checks and Identity Checks for our volunteers
4) Flyers, pamphlets and other printed materials to raise awareness about the program
We are expanding to a number of other retirement homes in the weeks to follow to keep up with our growing number of volunteers. We are also hoping to encourage seniors living at home who may be feeling socially isolated to participate. We need your support!