Hattie Shapard founded the Amity Program at age 14 to increase intergenerational interaction and subsequently reduce older adult isolation. The Amity Program's initiatives have since expanded with our participants.
The genesis of the Amity Program came from Hattie's interactions with one lonely older adult and a realization that engagement and dialogue across generations are beneficial to both parties. Based on feedback from older adults, their family members, and caregivers, the Amity Program feels that the organization is fulfilling that objective. More can be read about the founding of the programming here.
The Amity Program has a demonstrable impact on its participants. To strengthen and support our work, we build bridges between various communities integrating gender, race, socioeconomic status, and learning differences across generations. For older adults, every letter, phone call, art package, or card is meaningful. Studies have shown that the isolation of older adults leads to poor physical and mental health and we strive to reduce its impact. Our student participants are impacted through their involvement with the Amity Program with engagement and dialogue with older adults who are not family members which can lead to greater understanding, empathy, and a sense of responsibility for helping others.
The Amity Program currently has four programs supporting older adults and one program supporting students and has volunteer participants in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennslyvania, Ohio, Washington, New Jersey, California, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Indonesia, Ghana, and more. Learn more about our programming here.
Founder and Executive Director
Hattie Shapard founded the Amity Program at age 14. In February 2020, she launched this organization to bridge the societal gap between older adults and students and has since managed the organization's programming.
Hattie's volunteer experience–with older adults and those with dementia–guides and drives her actions as leader of this non-profit organization.