Generations United and The Eisner Foundation released survey findings in the new report I Need You, You Need Me: The Young, the Old, and What We Can Achieve Together on May 16 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The Eisner Foundation also honored New York-based nonprofit DOROT with The Eisner Prize for Intergenerational Excellence at the event, with journalist and political analyst Juan Williams as emcee.
Ninety-three percent of U.S. adults agree that children and youth benefit from building relationships with elders in their communities; 91 percent agree that elders benefit from these relationships as well, according to the new survey and report from Generations United and The Eisner Foundation. The survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Generations United and The Eisner Foundation in February among over 2,000 U.S. adults, also found that 78 percent of adults seem to be so convinced that the young and the old are good for one another that they think the federal government should invest in programs that bring together young and old Americans.
“When the generations don’t mix, they’re less likely to care and invest in each other,” Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United. “We’re proud to partner with The Eisner Foundation, which through its grant-making builds stronger communities that bridge the generations.”
The report highlights this year’s Eisner Prize for Intergenerational Excellence-winner DOROT and others as national examples of pioneers reuniting the generations and making their communities better places to live. For four decades, DOROT has provided services to seniors in New York City to combat isolation and the associated health consequences. With a name meaning “generations” in Hebrew, DOROT’s creative intergenerational programs activate younger generations to ensure that their clients have access to the resources they need to age with dignity, independence, and grace.
“It is such an incredible honor to receive the 2017 Eisner Prize for Intergenerational Excellence,” said Mark Meridy, Executive Director of DOROT. “We are passionate about our mission of addressing social isolation by bringing the generations together in a meaningful and impactful manner. Everyone at DOROT is grateful to the Eisner Foundation for highlighting the importance of intergenerational programming.”
“The Eisner Prize for Intergenerational Excellence allows us to shine a light on exceptional organizations that bring together the older and younger generations,” said Michael Eisner, founder of The Eisner Foundation. “DOROT’s intergenerational programs designed to alleviate social isolation in older adults are compassionate and commendable and so worthy of national recognition.”
Taking inspiration from the survey findings and featured organizations like DOROT, the report highlights inventive, intergenerational solutions and actionable ways to harness the benefits of connecting generations. They include:
- Lobby your local government to make age integration a core value
- Call on organizations that serve the young to collaborate with those that serve the old
- Challenge your local board of education to integrate elders into every school
- Urge local foundation to support intergenerational programs