Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England radio personality and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.


We all know that the past year has been extremely difficult and isolating for elderly people. They have been separated from the grandchildren, children, and in some cases even their spouses.

So Kate Poulin decided to start a volunteer group whose mission is to the lift the spirits of elderly people in the Rochester, New Hampshire community. The group started just with just one person (Kate) and has expanded to 238 people since December! How incredible is that?

In short, here is how Grandly Rochester works: Neighbors, family, friends, etc, nominate an elderly person in the Rochester area who could use a little extra cheer. They present the nomination as a proposed “mission” on the Facebook page. The group votes in the form of “likes”, they ask for 10% of members to vote yes and then the mission is a GO!

Then they gather intel about the elder who is nominated aka their likes, dislikes, needs, wants, and any allergies or precautions. Then they take that list and make a sign up genius form and everyone who wants to donate will pick items from the list to donate.

Two volunteers are chosen at the "Lead" and "Second" to assemble the donated items into a basket (or two or three) and deliver the goodies to the elder on a designated day and time.

Of course the Lead and Second are in their own vehicles and are wearing masks for their own safety and the safety of the elder. Then they post a picture of the baskets and give the group an update of how happy the Elders were! Then it's on to the next mission.

Grandly Rochester
Grandly Rochester

They have blessed elders with baskets of food and necessities, books, a plant, cozy socks and pajamas, soft blankets, coffee and a mug, a heating pad, pretty much anything that might brighten their day. If you are interested in nominating an elder or donating your time to this fantastic organization learn more here.

FYI: typically the nominated elders are are 65 and older however they have lowered the age limit for veterans.

This is what community is all about! Kudos to Kate and the whole Grandly Rochester crew. What you are doing is important. Keep up the great work!

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