I, Leslie Valentine, have created The Never-Ending Stories community outreach program in an effort to connect with the elderly in an endeavor to capture their stories and wisdom and share them with the world through this online platform. This effort includes the involvement of not only the participating seniors but also the community members who spread the message about theneverendingstories.org and the benefits that originate from promoting the sharing of stories and advice. I have been putting in the groundwork getting the message to nursing homes and ministries targeted to helping the elderly in an effort to reach as many senior citizens as possible to tell them about the platform that has been created for them. This site provides a platform for seniors to extend their legacy beyond their family and loved ones and for their stories to be never-ending, alive forever on the web.
Throughout graduate school while acquiring my master's degree in clinical mental health counseling I had been asked who I was most excited to work with and my answer was always with the elderly. My PawPaw has forever been an inspiration to me, teaching me the benefits of hard work and the significance of being a good person. The legacy he leaves behind will consist of all the stories he has shared with us and all the advice he has bestowed upon us over the years. As humans, we are all trying to make it through life the best we can, unscathed and with a purpose. Who better to seek counsel from than those who have already lived most of it? Our elders have the answers we are looking for. What is life about? What is the meaning of all this? Will I regret the things I'm doing or not doing in the future? They know, they have lived it. And we can learn from them.
While counsel and stories from our elderly family members and loved ones undoubtedly guide us and provide us with much needed wisdom, our elders' need to share and be heard is just as important, if not more so. When people reach late adulthood they begin to reflect on their lives, what they have contributed to the world, and what they are leaving behind. This online platform is providing them a place to share the things they have learned throughout their lives and to enrich their legacy. With this platform, seniors will be able to contribute their advice and stories via email or letter. These stories will be posted and shared on this platform for the entire internet to see. Social isolation and the resulting loneliness is an epidemic for the elderly. 18% of seniors live alone, while 43 % report feeling lonely on a regular basis. I believe the older adult population is gravely underserved and in need of a platform to share their wisdom and to be heard, this could be it.
We are always eager for more stories so please drop us a line or mail us your letters at any time. We are currently obtaining stories that will be posted publicly for this platform via email and snail mail so please send stories, acquired wisdom, and advice to the email above and the address below!
P.O. Box 4115, Beaumont, TX 77704, United States