Sunday, February 28, 2010

Open Letter from a Volunteer

One of my favorite parts of this project (there are many, but this is honestly one of my absolute favs) is having an excuse to get to know some of the most kind-hearted people around: my volunteers. Check out who they are and what they've been doing for this project in our updated blog sidebar/ Facebook info tab. And now, it's with total gratitude that I share a few words from one of them:

I first heard about the “The Best Day of My Life… So Far” project when I received an open email from Benita Cooper asking for volunteers to transcribe the writings of the seniors in her class. I immediately was drawn to the project for its intrinsic value to, not only future generations, but to the seniors who have so much to say and to few of us are listening; you have only to read the stories to understand. I have always thought that, as a society, we have sadly neglected our seniors and have failed to recognize what wonderful anecdotes they have to share from their life experiences.

Like so many others, my grand-parents immigrated to this country just after the turn of the century. Although both my grand-mothers died before I was born I still had my grand-fathers with me until I was a teenager. How many times I have regretted the fact that I never asked more questions and talked more with them about their experiences; coming to America, living through two world wars, the great depression and so much more. How wonderful it would have been to know why they decided to make the journey across and ocean and leave behind family and friends for the unknown. To have had their stories written down in their own words would have been a legacy beyond value.

Through the “Best Day” project our seniors have an opportunity to get their stories out there for everyone to appreciate. The value of this project goes way beyond any personal or private gain but is clearly a viable way of preserving our ancestry and more importantly a value beyond measure to our seniors who now have a voice, and through that voice gain a renewed sense of worth.

- Arlene LeVine