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.

 

Dog Owners and Furry Friends Make New Connections

Dogs can help you make new friends. That was the idea behind “Pups in the Park,” the most recent linkAges TimeBank event where dog owners brought their four-legged companions to Mitchell Park in Palo Alto and dog enthusiasts came out to share the fun. Doggie treats were in abundance and there were many wagging tails.

“Pups in the Park” on Feb. 24 was one of the monthly TimeBank Tales events that bring together TimeBank members and guests from the community to share stories, laugh, learn and have fun. With the generous help of community partners, these diverse events help promote neighborly connections and shared interests. Previous TimeBank Tales events have included yoga, Tai Chi and South Asian Bhangra dance classes, a Thanksgiving feast and a caroling event.

group pups

A variety of dog breeds and sizes – spaniels, dachshunds, Chihuahuas and many mixes, large and small – instantly bonded with one another. The human participants enjoyed the pleasure of the animal-human interaction and getting to know each other.

“Dogs are great conversation catalysts and wonderful community-builders,” says John Williams, who attended the event and is a Marketing and Communications specialist at PAMF’s David Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation that created the linkAges TimeBank program. “They are intermediaries to good conversation and provide a common interest for people who might not otherwise connect.”

dom pup

The dogs romped, played and barked with delight. The humans smiled. After enjoying some light refreshments, the group headed over to the doggy exercise area of the park where the dogs were unleashed – literally. The bonding process continued, with new dogs to meet and greet. Many more barks of delight.

Find more “Pups in the Park” event photos on the linkAges TimeBank Facebook page.

A linkAges TimeBank Thanksgiving

TimeBank Tales reflect the monthly events where TimeBank members and guests from the community come together to share stories, laugh, learn and have fun. With the generous help of community partners, these diverse events help promote neighborly connections and shared interests.

In November, more than 20 of our linkAges TimeBank members and their family and friends, gathered to share a meal together during the week before Thanksgiving. The engaging conversation, laughter and joy of a shared meal reminded all of us how the TimeBank can bring people together in a meaningful way. Continue reading