Bridging the Gap

Mendi Fayal, the activities director for Harmony Manor, is working with French Ford Middle School on a sweet program designed to bridge the gap between today's youth and older adults. For two years, Mendi has invited students from Mrs. Maryjo Dufurrena's fifth-grade class to come to Harmony Manor once a month for some fun crafts and activities. Starting soon, the students will also begin the larger project of interviewing Harmony's residents, writing stories about each and compiling their work in book format; thanks to a grant from Newmont Mining Company, every participant will receive a copy. Mendi said the monthly interactions give the children an opportunity to become familiar with the issues of aging, which can involve wheelchairs, life support equipment, intravenous equipment, or disabilities associated with getting older. For their part, residents have the opportunity to reminisce about activities they may have been involved in as children, and to share them with the youth. But perhaps the most important thing Mendi has seen is that age doesn't matter in friendship. "We have seen firsthand that the young and the elderly do bond and they can become lifelong friends." Kudos to Mendi, Maryjo Dufurrena, our Harmony Manor seniors and the students at French Ford Middle School. This just proves that true friendship knows no bounds. By the way, check out the gorgeous photo of Harmony resident Yolan Goodrich and little Angela Huerta. Every time we look at it, it just makes our hearts leap!