Hattie Shapard founded the Amity Program at age 14 to increase intergenerational interaction and subsequently reduce senior isolation.
The mission of the Amity Program is to increase engagement with senior citizens through intergenerational interaction and direct programming. We do this through four branches. The first branch connects students with senior citizens through a pen-pal program. The second branch connects students with senior citizens through a telephone correspondence program. The third branch, our art box program, provides art supplies to senior citizens in particular those with dementia with a prompt. The fourth branch–our card-making initiative–sends homemade cards to seniors.
The genesis of the Amity Program came from Hattie's interactions with one lonely senior and a realization that engagement and dialogue across generations are beneficial to both parties. Based on feedback from seniors, their family members, and caregivers the Amity Program feels that we are fulfilling the objective.
The Amity Program has a demonstrable impact on its participants. For seniors, every letter, phone call, art package, or card is meaningful. Studies have shown that the isolation of seniors leads to poor physical and mental health and we strive to reduce its impact.
For our student participants, they 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.
Any donations help with operating expenses and significantly accelerate our art box and card program. We believe that our art box and card program will not only benefit those participating but also help identify more senior participants for our pen-pal and calling initiatives. As a result, we can continue to expand the community of people we are engaging with and expand our impact.
Founder and Manager
Hattie Shapard is the founder of the Amity Program. She founded this organization to bridge the societal gap between seniors and students.
Hattie is passionate about community service and spends much of her time volunteering with senior citizens and those with dementia.