The idea behind the Adopt-a-Grandparent program is a simple one: to show the love of Christ to a group of people who often feel marginalized, abandoned, and lonely.
Many senior citizens who live in independent-living or assisted-living facilities are there because they can no longer easily care for themselves at home and there is no one available to provide them the help they need. In short, they are alone. Even if their physical needs are met by the facility in which they live, their spiritual and emotional needs may not be.
Young people are often unaware of this situation, and in the hustle and bustle of daily life, don’t take the time to interact with seniors. Yet those who do find that this interaction is an immense blessing to both parties.
God has made it plain throughout scripture that he wants his people to honor and care for the elderly, whether one’s parents or others who are in need (Leviticus 19:32, James 1:27, Ephesians 6:2, et al). Among the many sins God held against the nations of Israel and Judah was taking advantage of widows and neglecting them. When Jesus was dying on the cross, he sought to make sure his mother would be cared for in her old age. His love is expressed in his words, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
By contacting, conversing with, and caring for the elderly, the students of ACU can be an incredible blessing to our community. In addition, the elderly have a huge amount of wisdom, knowledge, guidance, and encouragement to provide to our students, and many are eager to share it, if only given the chance. Learning from our elders is a wonderful way for students to see how the love of Christ can work in their lives.
Our goal is to pair interested students and residents of an as-yet-to-be-determined assisted living facility. Once the groups are paired, we will require proof of a weekly correspondence between the students and their “grandparent” by submitting a google form with either a scan, screenshot, or photograph of their correspondence. At the end of each semester, we will have them reflect on their time communicating with them.