Dear Vanessa, I want to inflict my deep gratitude for your attentiveness to me. Many lonely old people become selfish. During the pandemic period our loneliness increased. We want to communicate. we want to talk about problem about our sickness, about our memories. Everyone wants to talk but not so many willing to listen. Unexpectedly, like a ray of sunshine on a gloomy day, a sweet young girl entered my life. It is you Vanessa. You made my Thursdays different. With respect, tolerance, and attentiveness, you listened to my tirades in not quite correct English. Sometimes delicately prompted, sometimes encouraged sharing my point of view. The opinion of a young student is very important to me because our age difference is too big. You helped me with my iPhone and computer. Thank you and god bless you. Greta with respect.
Every conversation with Greta is a joy because she is not only knowledgeable but kind. Through sharing her life experiences with me, Greta is a great role model. Even with a global pandemic, Greta has a positive outlook – something that has transferred to me as well. I am very thankful for the opportunity I gained when I first matched with Greta. Many people of my generation believe they are disconnected from older generations, but this is not the case. In certain ways, Greta and I have a stronger connection than people in my generation. I continue to look forward to talking with Greta!
Since I have no grandchildren, my experiences with Brianna were a very pleasant surprise, restoring my optimism in the future of humanity. In spite of her youth, she is deeply insightful and well-informed about the serious concerns of current life globally and we never run out of topics to discuss. It is a great pleasure to share my knowledge and experiences with such a highly intelligent and tactful young lady. In turn, she enthusiastically shares her technical skills; this has been of great help to me.
I feel fortunate to be a part of H2O Network, an organization that works towards creating meaningful intergenerational relationships. Through H2O, I had the privilege to be matched with Elizabeth, who is incredibly wise, funny, and kind. She has taught me so much about life through her personal experiences. Elizabeth always challenges me towards personal growth and fuels my curiosity in our shared interest of human behavior by recommending new books. An advantage of my generation is that I am able to offer Elizabeth technical support to make her life easier in small ways. I also recognize that Elizabeth appreciates our conversations, companionship, and friendship. It brings me happiness to know I am able to benefit Elizabeth in these ways. Thank you H2O for introducing me to Elizabeth who I consider a role model and lifelong friend.
The pandemic we are all living through is scary and at the same time was life-changing for me. I was in a nursing home which was struck by the first wave of Covid-19 and the cases increased exponentially which led to strict restrictions from the management to ensure safety of all seniors. I was not allowed to meet anyone and only stayed in my room which can be daunting. However, once I connected with Muhammad through H2O I was able to keep myself occupied and active. I was apprehensive at first because of the age gap but I soon realized that we shared the same passion for science, technology, politics and sports due to which the conversations were always interesting and we never ran out of topics. Through the virtual presence program I was able to learn about different cultures and I was really happy to see that the youth is giving their time for such a good cause. I would highly suggest other seniors to join H2O because they will benefit from it like I have. It allows me to keep improving my knowledge and I can also pass on my experiences.
H2O has provided me with such a great opportunity to make a difference in the community. My interactions with Mervin have been meaningful and we have developed a friendship. This opportunity has allowed me to enhance and develop new skills. I believe that being able to communicate is a skill which is required in day to day life but being a good listener is as important because it allows us to understand and empathize with others. Through the last 5 months I have also enhanced my time management skill as I have to contact Mervin at appropriate times. I have also learned a lot from Mervin as he shares stories and experiences which are valuable. I gained valuable insight into the Guyanese culture and heritage mainly learning about their family dynamics, history and social interactions. Mervin also inspires me because of the challenges he has faced once he moved to Canada. He was able to overcome hurdles in his life due to his sheer dedication and will to be successful and I want to follow his path in successfully overcoming challenges that I will face. I want to thank H2O for connecting me to Mervin and I am happy to contribute to society.
It was a real pleasure for me to have been matched with such an ambitious and caring young woman as Diljot. It was exciting for me to try some new technical things with her. Also, it was a comfort to me to know that I had someone in my corner willing to help when my technical skills fell short. The pandemic did have some positive outcomes and my getting together online with Diljot was one of them.
Thanks to H2O Network, I was able to virtually meet a friendly, intelligent, and special senior this summer. What was originally supposed to be a help session with WhatsApp on her phone turned out to be so much more! We continued on weekly phone conversations and would discuss daily life like the weather, food, languages, and COVID. I learned a lot from her. For instance, she talked about stinging nettles during one of our talks, a plant that can be eaten and is used as an antioxidant. In another conversation, she explained the complexity of languages after I told her about my lack of speaking fluently in my mother language, Punjabi. That conversation encouraged me to continue to speak my mother tongue! Recently, we both made our own Zoom accounts. While helping her get familiar with the app, I was also able to make a meeting myself, exploring the different features on Zoom along the way. I do have grandparents, but my interactions with them are limited because we live in different countries so talking with her was very unique and special to me. It was amazing to see how our communication was mutually beneficial and built a strong connection between us.
I was fortunate enough to learn about H2O Network through a friend. I was matched with Huy, a young international student. I learned how to use my cell phone apps, how to use WhatsApp to call my family, and how to work with the computer. Thanks to Hand Over Hand for getting me through my difficulties. And of course it was free of any charge!
H2O brings me different volunteer experiences compared with other organizations. It focuses on improving the skills of each volunteer and following their meaningful goals. I can tell that it is not wasting my time, but it gives a value to volunteers and other people.