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

 

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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!​

 

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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.​

 

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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!

 

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Stephen Garten
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