Adults 50+ Targeted as Untapped Treasure to Help Youth Thrive
Seattle identified as impact area for intergenerational excellence movement
Never before in our community’s history has Seattle enjoyed a larger population of healthy, vital and talented adults over age 50. This widely available yet untapped resource provides part of the reason Encore.org selected Seattle as one of four cities to pilot its new Generation to Generation campaign to mobilize adults 50+ adults to help young people thrive.
Led by local entrepreneur Jim McGinley, Generation to Generation Seattle is a five-year campaign to mobilize, nationally, one million 50+ adults to support at-risk children and youth. “Gen2Gen-Seattle works with communities and youth-serving organizations to empower our age 50-plus persons for new action,” McGinley said.
“If you are ready to tutor, mentor, or look creatively at ways to share your wisdom and talent, Gen2Gen-Seattle wants to help you connect,” said McGinley. “You can start very soon with Treehouse, Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Educurious. Each of these pilots needs your activism and wants to pique your interest.” For information, visit Treehouse, Boys & Girls Clubs of King County, Puget Sound Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Educurious Expert Network.
“For this campaign to be successful, we must also encourage, engage and facilitate age 50+ adults across Seattle’s rich ethnic cultures,” McGinley said. “Young people find enormous benefit from interacting with 50-plussers who look like them. Sound like them. Understand their cultural identities. That is where we hope to find and stimulate rich relationships to guide the futures of young people.”
“We also want to advance the national conversation about what can be accomplished when generations come together and to scale the engagement of our vastly experienced talent and also change the narrative about society’s role for our citizens over age 50,” McGinley said.
McGinley spent recent months building relationships across the community. “We are very honored that more than 40 cross-sector organizations expressed support for Gen2Gen Seattle during 2016,” he said. McGinley offered examples from nonprofits such as Youth Development Executives of King County, businesses such as The Mactus Group, governments such as King County’s Best Starts for Kids, school districts such as Highline Public Schools, faith communities such as the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and philanthropic organizations such as Social Venture Partners.
“I invite organizations of age 50-plus persons from all corners of Seattle and King County to consider how they and their organization could impact inter-generational unity and excellence by providing new volunteers. AgeWise readers embody immense social and institutional knowledge, and we stand ready to help mobilize them,” McGinley said.
Specifically, Gen2Gen—Seattle welcomes:
- Individuals over age 50 with a passion for helping young people, and who believe in the value of intergenerational relationships.
- Nonprofit organizations focused on supporting children and youth, from childhood to young adults.
- Anyone interested in spreading the word about work/volunteer opportunities to adults over 50.
- Communities interested in increasing connectivity across generations, and working with local leaders to demonstrate impact.
The campaign also wants to hear the stories of young people interested in advocating for the power of caring adults (within and beyond their family) as active participants in their lives.
“My questions for readers are simply these: ‘Are you with us?’ and ‘Are you ready to get moving?’” McGinley invites readers to e-mail him at email@example.com, call 425-753-5600, or visit www.gen2genseattle.org.
For more information about how Gen2Gen makes a difference, read:
- An Encore of Service: Experienced Americans Helping Vulnerable Youth
- Doing Good by Doing Well: Encore Fellows Building Nonprofits’ Capacity to Service Children and Youth
Contributor Andy Oden is dedicated to promoting Generation2Generation to help children and youth throughout Seattle and King County to thrive.
This article originally appeared in AgeWise King County (March 2017).