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.
I was fortunate enough to learn about Hand Over Hand 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!
Hand Over Hand 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.
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.
Psychology PhD Candidate – H2O Volunteer
I got to know about Hand Over Hand Network through a friend and became impressed with their vision. To break down the walls between young and old generations and dispel the stigma against ageism is no easy task yet this wonderful organization has made this their goal. As a 2nd-year doctoral student in the Clinical and Counselling Psychology Program at the University of Toronto, I feel honoured to be able to contribute to H2O where I can utilize my knowledge and experience in psychology and counselling for such an impactful, much-needed cause in our society. I believe that H2O’s programs and services hugely improve both young and older adults’ mental health and overall well-being. The various activities and platforms offer a strong, meaningful impact on the quality of lives in our society through the promotion of mentorship, companionship, volunteerism, and social engagement. Other crucial yet often overlooked aspects in our modern life that H2O strives to build upon and enhance is knowledge, experience, and culture transfer between generations. This enables the continuous learning and growing of both generations and in turn improves the intellectual and emotional state of our society as a whole.