May 2018 – Culture and Language Month

The month of May is filled with the sounds of birds, the smell of fresh flowers and warm breezes from time to time. The month marks the height of spring and the beginning of summer. This month’s theme is exploring culture and language. You can use linkAges to practice a new language, learn more about a country or region you are visiting during summer vacation, or learn a new family recipe. If you speak another language or would like to share your unique cultural skills with others, we hope you will post an offer this month!

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Partner Spotlight: The Dragon Theatre of Redwood City

We want to extend a big thank you to Dragon Theatre of Redwood City for their long-time involvement as a linkAges partner. Their creative collaboration with linkAges allows our members to serve as hospitality volunteers,  while also supporting the unique and thoughtful plays performed at the theater. This month the Dragon Theatre is debuting their upcoming play, “Three Days of Rain” beginning May 25th. We encourage you to invite a linkAges member and connect over a night filled with drama and suspense!


Insights on Isolation by Rochelle Perucca

Are you in pain? I know that place. Pain really takes a toll on our entire being. It saps our energy, influences our mind and impacts our choices and decisions.

Its spring and I want to buy some seeds to plant. I hear my mind saying: “Is it worth the effort, stress, pain you will experience?” Ah-ha, I caught my self sabotaging thought right in the act. If I let it take over, it would add to my isolation and emotional pain.

What can we do?

  1. When we live in alignment with our values we feel better.

  2. Call a friend to go with us and enjoy the travel time together.

  3. Shift our thinking to something more supportive, i.e. “It will be nourishing to watch the seeds grow and blossom.”

  4. Ask a friend to pick up some seeds or starters for us.

Reach out and plant some seeds, literally or figuratively.

Happy planting,

Rochelle

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 Rochelle Perucca, a Fulbright Scholar, psychotherapist, a college professor for the past 35 years, and a National Park Ranger (language interpreter), has been a linkAges Community member since 2015. She has seen the many benefits of being part of a larger community and we welcome her contributions and insights to the linkAges newsletter.

 


Technology Tip:

As a reminder for members, we have updated our member guidelines and safety tips for members here.   When exchanging with an unfamiliar Community member, exercise the same caution you would when interacting with a new neighbor for the first time. The guidelines help you have a positive and rewarding experience in linkAges Community! You can find additional information in the Resource Library.

March 2018 – National Nutrition Month

Happy March! March is National Nutrition Month, so let linkAges help you maintain good eating habits and physical activity. We all know that eating at home not only can help save money but can help us eat healthier too. Try experimenting with healthier ingredients, such as chicken breast, fish, and your favorite vegetables. If you need suggestions for recipes, please post a listing on linkAges since our members have many healthy recipes to share. To kickstart physical activity habits, find an activity such as hiking on linkAges Community that you might enjoy. We look forward to supporting members in participating in National Nutrition Month!nutrition.png


 

Partner Spotlight: The Mountain View Senior Center

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linkAges has collaborated with The Mountain View Senior Center to host many events and we are so grateful for their partnership. The Mountain View Senior Center is an all-purpose facility that offers programs and services for adults 55 years of age and over. They offer many types of classes, social events, community garden, and a nutrition program.


 

Insights on Isolation by Rochelle Perucca

It’s March, the winds of change are blowing and Spring is coming.

Is your life representative of the upcoming season or are you still in Winter?

What if: Attitude + Energy = Choice. Let’s make a hypothesis: A+E = C

How would you describe your Attitude? Does it feel like a sloth in slow motion? Or is it

like a curious cat, interested in anything that moves?

How is your Energy? Is it like a banana slug slowly traversing the forest floor? Or does it

feel more like a flower ready, waiting and hoping to blossom?

If A+E does equal C, then the Choices we make do depend on how much energy we

have and more importantly, A, our Attitude and how we think.

So, this month, let’s take a look at how our A is impacting our E, and particularly our C.

Are we reaching out or are we choosing to remain in winter? If so, what is stopping us?

My hope is for all of us to find a way to choose Spring.


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Rochelle Perucca, a Fulbright Scholar, psychotherapist, a college professor for the past 35 years, and a National Park Ranger (language interpreter), has been a linkAges Community member since 2015. She has seen the many benefits of being part of a larger community and we welcome her contributions and insights to the linkAges newsletter.

 


Technology Tip:

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Did you know that linkAges has a Resource Library to assist with frequently asked questions? The Resource Library offers information on how to post your first listing, how to find and create events, and how to complete/record an exchange. Please refer this to useful tool to learn how to utilize the linkAges website.

Find the Resource Library on the left-hand side of the website.

A new way to engage with your community

Here at linkAges, we’re always looking for opportunities to create meaningful connections. From meeting a group of members at a local coffee shop to play a new board game or learning how to make kefir smoothies at one of our TimeBank Tales, linkAges members can look forward to new ways to engage with their community.

Starting this month, we are excited to announce the launch of our new yearlong engagement campaign!

What you can look forward to:

  • Quarterly themes that will be announced in our monthly newsletter. We hope these broad themes will inspire linkAges members to try new things, meet new people and, of course, give back to our community through acts of kindness.
  • Monthly sub-topics that correspond to that quarter’s themes. For example, during the quarterly theme of “Meet Someone New,” we’ll be encouraging linkAges members and partners to do cross-city exchanges and cross-cultural events in order to build intergenerational connections.
  • Exchanging with new and old members around popular linkAges topics like technology, gardening and pet care.
  • One large community event per quarter hosted by your linkAges team.

How you can get involved:

  • Post Offers or Requests on the linkAges website related to the theme.
  • Attend an event or workshop hosted by a linkAges member or partner related to the theme.
  • Share your linkAges stories here on our blog.

Stay tuned for the unveiling of next month’s subtopic and activities!

 

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linkAges Partner Spotlight: Town of Los Altos Hills

For the second year in a row, we partnered with the Town of Los Altos Hills, Parks and Recreation Department to put on a successful Technology for Seniors event!

You’ve checked out the event photos on Facebook – now , learn more about our partnership from Sarah Gualtieri, Community Services Supervisor.


Tell us a little bit about your organization.

We are dedicated to serving the Town of Los Altos Hills.

How did you first learn about linkAges?

I learned about linkAges through the Los Altos/Los Altos Hills Senior Commission. We partnered a few years ago for a joint venture for Technology Training for Seniors. This event was successful and I am proud to say that the program continues to run today.

How have linkAges members connected with your organization/department?

I work directly with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Community Outreach Department. They have been extremely professional and reliable. I always look forward to partnering with their team.

What in one thing you love about working in your community?

The community I serve is so passionate. Every day I look forward to making a positive impact through community events and programming.

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Emily, a Los Altos Hills Youth Volunteer, helps a community member learn how to use her tablet.

linkAges Launches in Santa Cruz

We’re delighted to announce the expansion of linkAges, our neighborhood service-exchange network, into Santa Cruz! The linkAges team has been busy meeting with local community organizations, city officials and community members to spread the word about linkAges and adapt the program to the city’s unique culture. We’ve been inspired by the Santa Cruz community’s positive response to the program and look forward to helping create meaningful social connections across the city.

Santa Cruz Tech Day participantsWe kicked off linkAges member recruitment at our Tech Day for Older Adults event at Live Oak Senior Center on December 5, 2015. More than 30 seniors attended the event, met new people and received helpful tips for using their tech devices. Attendees surprised our team by bringing snacks for everyone to munch on throughout the day. We were thrilled to be welcomed so warmly.

One attendee, Cindy, learned how to use Skype so she can chat withcindy getting help with skype her friends in France. Others learned how to get the most out of their iPads and smartphones from tech-savvy volunteers like Elaine, a history professor at University of California, Santa Cruz. Local community members, linkAges members, and linkAges staff volunteered to teach technology skills, and many friendships formed between the older adults and volunteers.

Since Tech Day, we have also hosted several linkAges orientations at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History to introduce local community members to the benefits of linkAges and help them sign up.

Thank you to the Live Oak Senior Center and Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History for their generous support and donation of space.

Upcoming linkAges Events

We’ll be hosting more exciting events in Santa Cruz in the upcoming months. If you or someone you know in Santa Cruz would like to join linkAges, go to http://www.linkages.org, click “Sign Up” in the top right corner and use the code sccommunity. Check out our Facebook page for news about upcoming events.

 

Meet Erica Gibson: Our New Medical Ethnographer

Erica Gibson, Ph.D., recently joined the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Innovation Center team as the new medical ethnographer. In this blog post, she explains what a medical ethnographer does and her new role at the Innovation Center – and with the linkAges Timebank community.

Erica GibsonHi, I’m Erica. I recently moved to California from Florida and I am enjoying exploring my new community while working with a great team as the Innovation Center’s new medical ethnographer.  I received a Ph.D. in medical anthropology from the University of Alabama in 2007 and I have been working as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies for the past six years.  My previous ethnographic experience includes cross-cultural studies on pregnancy and birth in the Southern U.S., Mexico, and Italy, and clinical and chronic pain studies in communities in Florida.

Ethnography is an on-the-ground method of learning about the social and cultural life of communities and individuals, with an emphasis on the perspectives of the people.  Medical ethnography allows us to understand behaviors that impact people’s wellness. This helps the team to design innovations that can improve health at both the individual and community levels. The Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation at Palo Alto Medical Foundation is dedicated to working in-depth with the local community, and many of our team members already do this.  As the medical ethnographer, I am working with community members to better understand the experiences of older adults and caregivers in the challenges that they face affecting their health and well-being.

Through participant observation, I can explore what community members are experiencing on an individual level, both as someone performing an activity, as well as through watching and learning.  For instance, in order to meet community members and learn first-hand about linkAges, I became a member of the linkAges TimeBank.  Upon learning that time banks often receive more offers than requests, I decided to post a request, rather than an offer for my first exchange.  The idea behind this is that people don’t want to ask for help; however they are very happy to offer help. In order to engage with the other TimeBank members quickly, I asked for help with a task that was intimidating to me but could probably be easily accomplished by someone in the TimeBank with the right skill set.  I requested help in sprucing up my cubicle. Two TimeBank members responded within days and I recently completed my first exchange with TimeBank member Judy Ott!  Judy helped me create an inviting work space by sharing her design expertise.  This exchange resulted in a positive change to my work space, but it also allowed me to understand exactly what is involved in a TimeBank experience from a participant’s perspective.  Also I had a great time just chatting with Judy and learning about fun things to do in and around the Bay Area!

Part of my time will be spent out in the community, getting to know TimeBank members and learning about how we can better serve them through linkAges programs.  You may see me at local events such as TimeBank Tales, orientation sessions, Meet and Move walks, or posting offers and requests on the TimeBank website.  Please feel free to come up and say hello, especially if you are interested in helping our team by speaking with me about your experiences with linkAges programs. You can also send me an email at gibsone@pamf.org if you would like to know more about what I do and how you can help make linkAges better for everyone.

TimeBank Tales: Summer Highlights

By Vivian Nguyen, Community Outreach Coordinator

Summer 2014 was a busy season for the linkAges TimeBank – we launched our Advocates program for college interns, redesigned the TimeBank website, and grew to over 250 members ranging in age from 18 to 92. Together, we’ve completed almost 600 hours of exchanges!

Many TimeBank members meet fellow members (and potential Exchange partners) during “TimeBank Tales,” a free community event that we host every month. TimeBank Tales is a great opportunity to learn new skills, connect with others in the TimeBank community and, most importantly, have fun!

In case you missed any events, here’s a recap of our summer TimeBank Tales:

June 2014: Breathe in, breathe out

IMG_1750We started off the season with a yoga and meditation session led by William Cristobal, one of our business partners and founder of Yoga Belly. Members learned various poses and breathing techniques designed to enhance mental clarity and improve spine and muscle alignment.

July 2014: Learn Bhangra!

In July, our very own TimeBank member, Nikita Maheshwari, led a workshop on Indian folk dance, tbtales-bhangra-facing-dancersalso known as “Bhangra.” Members got to move and shake to basic dance moves seen in popular Indian films. Nikita also offers private Bhangra lessons as a service listing on the TimeBank!

August 2014: TimeBank Trivia Night

2014-04-08 17.20.56 HDRThings got heated during our TimeBank Trivia Night as 4 teams tested their general knowledge and battled it out for prizes. The first, second and third place teams were only separated by a point at the end of 8 rounds! The winners took home gift cards from our newest business partner, Sunnyvale Art Gallery & Café.