Youth and Elders Program

Students from the Key Club at Mountain Vista High School visit residents at Brookdale Crossing

"This past weekend, young women the Key Club at Mountain Vista High School gathered to spend an afternoon with the youthful residents of Brookdale Crossings, an assisted living memory care community. These students came together with no expectations and open hearts only to find something much more than anticipated; a deep connection to last a lifetime.


The visit started with a beautiful song that was sung by all in the room. Words chosen by the residents were passionately sung by all and included verbs like happy, helpful and sane. These may be only words for some but to the residents at Brookdale Crossings, these were prayers they were singing out for all to hear. 


Watching the visit unfold was nothing short of a beautiful moment for many there. The group discussed their favorite musical influences and there was much more in common than expected. Names like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Johnny Cash were humming throughout the room right alongside with laughter, dancing and good conversation. By the end of the program, "Unforgettable" by Nat King Cole was playing in the background while the elders from Brookdale were full of smiles and praise of what these girls had brought to them; love. The visit closed with lots of embracing and "see you soon's".

When it was time to debrief with the program director, the volunteers were overwhelmed by a wide range of emotions. It seems to be a common theme for Bessie's Hope, as there is always something extraordinary that you leave with, such as hope, happiness, compassion and respect for the generations that have gone before us. I myself have been known to be somewhat speechless after a program. There usually isn't much to say, but much to be felt. Something just short of a magic happens at these visits, and the only way to keep the magic alive is to volunteer, donate and spread the word. Every dollar matters, because every elder in a nursing home or assisted living matters, and every city should have a Bessie's Hope, because everybody deserves a little hope."

Jessica Kaczorowski,