Lars Delin, Xi ’22 (Wesleyan) worked with other undergraduates at Wesleyan to co-found Support A Pal to socially support senior citizens during the Covid-19 pandemic. This non-profit venture pairs college students with members of the non-residential Dyckman Senior Center in the Bronx, NY, to facilitate weekly phone conversations in lieu of in-person interaction. Currently, there are 20 volunteers – primarily from Wesleyan University – who speak English, Spanish, or Mandarin, and they are seeking to expand in number and linguistic capabilities.
Support A Pal was inspired by the lack of accommodations for senior citizens, as these at-risk individuals often struggle with social media communication and tech savviness. However, this endeavour has proven to be beneficial for both sides of the partnership. Volunteers have expressed excitement over shared interests, such as the genius of Billy Joel, and realized how much they can learn from the generations before them.
We first learned about his efforts from this article; http://newsletter.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2020/05/04/students-form-connections-with-senior-citizens-isolated-by-pandemic/?utm_source=&utm_medium=EMLET&utm_campaign=The+Wesleyan+Connection+May+6(2068360