On August 13, 2014, the computer users at the Curry Senior Center were joined by three volunteers from the home cleaning service company, Homejoy, for an email workshop. Despite a fire incident the previous weekend, which had left the building somewhat soggy, ten seniors were there to greet the volunteers, all eager to learn.
In addition to the easy-to-use computers, the center also has two i-pads that the seniors are excited to use. Our volunteers helped them take pictures and email them to their friends, which was great fun. A growing number of seniors are being given their own such devices by children and grandchildren as a way of keeping in touch, and two seniors joined the fun with their own kit and some guidance from the volunteers.
During the event, team members assisted seniors with basic skills that allow them to navigate the internet and set up email addresses. Marlo, a Homejoy volunteer (pictured above center), told us: “I loved working one-to-one with the seniors, asking them what their needs were, walking through step-by-step, creating a reference sheet for them, and having them practice the computers. It was so much fun to see Alice (one of the seniors) send an email to her niece and get a response back.”
Sabrina Kansara, who’s in charge of community engagement at Homejoy, said: “I really enjoyed helping seniors with their individual computer and internet needs. It was fun to solve their computer problems together! I hope to be back again soon for another volunteer event.”
We hope so, too! The workshop lasted an hour and a half, which whizzed by. But we hope to schedule more events in the future to connect tech-savvy workers across the city with the seniors wanting to learn new computer skills. If you, or someone you know works for a company in San Francisco that might provide volunteers for this SF Connected program, please get in touch!