Testimonial to Bridging the Gap

Saturday October 20, 2012

With all that is wrong with the world it is nice to get a bit of refreshment. Here goes.

We received the following letter from a young teenager to a Sheffield senior, both having participated in the Bridging the Gap: Projects Between Ages program this summer sponsored by South Berkshire Community Coalition and the Tufts Health Plan Foundation. It paired young women (ages 12-18) from a local summer camp with older adults (ages 60+).

They met once a week for six weeks, visiting, sharing activities -- building bird houses, for example -- and providing companionship. Thanks to Shelly Brooks and Anne Moulton for running the program.

"J. -- Hi! It’s O. from the Bridging the Gap program! For the past month I have really wanted to write you a letter, just a little something to sum up what this time has meant to me. At my camp we call these letters "bus notes." They put into words all the things you want to say, but have never had the chance to or have never known how to say it. So, here goes my bus note to you.

"I cannot even describe or put into words how thankful I am that I got to spend those weeks talking and laughing with you. All of your stories and experiences are so interesting and unique, and I love how each and every one of them had a moral behind it. My favorite one of course will always be how you climbed the fire escape and then somehow still got a job out of it. I just thought it was the funniest thing ever and it still makes me smile when I think about it.

"You have taught me so many things in these short sessions and I am grateful for every moment. The Bird houses, The storyboard of your life. Just talking. All of it. I know you’ll smile when you read this and be very humble about all of this, but please just know that you have made me think about the world in a whole new kind of light and I try to live the lessons your stories taught me this summer. There is absolutely no way I can ever thank you enough for what you have given me this summer. Just know that I am eternally grateful and that I will definitely try to visit the senior center/you in the upcoming year or summer. I hope all is well out there in the Berkshires. I’m hearing it’s absolutely beautiful this time of year.

"Remember to always have fun with whatever you’re doing and to always stay amazing. Miss you lots. - O."

There you have it. A breath of fresh air.



The writer is director of the Sheffield Senior Center.


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