Love for the Elderly brings joy into the lives of senior citizens through simple acts of human kindness.
Founded in 2013 by high-school student Jacob Cramer, the organization aims to inspire others to connect with elders and bridge the pre-existing age barriers through programs such as Letters of Love (a handwritten letter-writing program that brings smiles to the faces of seniors), Senior Buddies (forming pen-pal relationships between youth and nursing home residents), and SunshineBox (distributing fun boxes filled with goodies to seniors in nursing homes).
Driven by a goal to provide love and care for our seniors, Jacob, 16, has given TEDx talks, public speeches, and educational presentations to audiences across the nation in a constant effort to raise awareness.
Below is a Q&A with Jacob about his goals and motivations for LFTE
Tell us a little bit about your history prior to your work with Love for the Elderly — how did your previous experiences prepare you for this journey?
Going into founding my nonprofit, I had basically no experience with entrepreneurship or social activism. Sure, I did some community service here and there, but nothing administrative like this.
It was really my experiences volunteering in nursing homes that led me to be able to develop such a strong passion to make a difference in the lives of the elderly!
What motivated you to start a nonprofit?
After volunteering extensively at local nursing homes, I knew I wanted to do something good and positive that would make sure seniors never have to feel alone or depressed.
But I knew I wasn’t able to do this on the large scale that I wanted to simply by going into individual rooms once a week and talking to residents of a single nursing home.
So, I started by writing letters of kindness… and one letter at a time, Love for the Elderly grew into a global organization!
What are you hoping to achieve with your work at the Love for the Elderly?
We hope to bring love into the lives of as many elderly people across the globe as possible! To date, we have impacted over 20,000 seniors!
What are some of the most challenging obstacles you have had to face in pursuit of your goals?
Funding is always an issue for any nonprofit, but we’ve overcome this by doing constant fundraisers and working with businesses to sponsor our programs.
What advice would you give to people who are eager to make a social impact but don’t know where to begin?
Do what you’re passionate about!
Lastly, how can people best support Love for the Elderly? Are there any upcoming events or campaigns we can look forward to?
Support us by following us on Twitter and Instagram @love4theelderly so you can stay informed on what our organization is doing! I’m currently writing a book, so that’s definitely something to look forward to!