Many senior citizens don’t have family to visit with and rely on, which can be particularly painful during the holidays. Wrapping up our philanthropic efforts…
There was a practical reason Principal Consultant Susan Carino recommended Second Wind Dreams as the recipient of IPM’s fourth quarter 2019 Integrated Project Mercy project: The organization has national reach and opportunities for all of IPM’s seven offices across the country.
There was a personal reason as well. Besides providing elderly people the opportunity to have wishes fulfilled, Second Wind Dreams also provides education to healthcare providers and families of people with dementia. With a parent who relies on full-time care and the empathy of healthcare workers, Carino has seen nursing care workers who would benefit from more education, and she wants to support this type of educational program. “It’s not easy to find staff in hospitals and nursing homes who know how to interact with people who have dementia,” she says.
Carino, who works in the San Francisco office and is leading IPM’s philanthropic effort this quarter with Project Management Consultant Linda Castle, championed the theme of supporting the elderly because across the country there are people in elder-care facilities who receive little, if any, family support. “There are a lot of people who won’t have visitors or gifts for the holidays,” she adds.
Second Wind Dreams’ Gifts of Light program works like a “Letters to Santa” program. Nursing home and elder-care residents write their holiday wish lists, and volunteers fulfill their wishes. Some of IPM’s offices have “adopted” local homes through Gifts of Light, and volunteers are purchasing and wrapping presents from their wish lists.
Year round, Second Wind Dreams works to fulfill the hopes and dreams of elderly people. The program is similar to Make-a-Wish; an elder can request a dream, and the organization’s volunteers will work to make it happen. Carino says, “The stories they shared about the residents’ dreams were unbelievable. A lot of requests are things they used to have but can’t easily get anymore. One elder simply wanted a can of Mountain Dew!” Other dreams fulfilled have included going to a basketball game, riding on a NASCAR track, going to the opera, and playing with a puppy.
IPM offices are contributing their time, talent, and treasure in ways beyond granting dreams and providing gifts. For example, one group will decorate an assisted living facility for the holidays, and another will host a game night at a local senior center. “By fulfilling wishes, we’re making a tangible and positive impact to people in need over the holidays,” Carino says.
— Published December 17, 2019
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