Older adult residents of Milwaukee Catholic Home and upper elementary students from Maryland Avenue Montessori School came together to present a multi-generational theatrical performance in honor of Earth Day.
The play, titled “Be Kind To Your Mother Earth,” was written by Douglas Love and directed by Gretta Assaly, a youth theatre professional and long-time volunteer at Milwaukee Catholic Home. The play follows the adventures of a group of students who travel back in time to prevent historical events that had a negative impact on the environment. The multi-generational cast has rehearsed for the past two months, developing respect and friendship through their work together. Performances were held at both Milwaukee Catholic Home and Maryland Avenue Montessori.
Milwaukee Catholic Home offers many such intergenerational opportunities to its residents, many of whom live with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory challenges. These innovative programs increase students’ understanding of the aging process and give older adults a sense of purpose and inclusion.
The play was listed as one of the “12 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day” by Milwaukee Magazine, and was also featured on the Fox 6 evening news. Enjoy some pictures and video below!
Recently, Milwaukee Catholic Home’s innovative programs have received significant recognition from charitable foundations. When deciding whether to provide funding to a given organization or program, foundations consider the key question:
What is the impact?
This is the same question that we ask on a daily basis here at MCH. Our mission goes beyond just providing for the daily needs of our residents – our goal is to make a lasting impact in their lives, the lives of their families, and the life of our larger community.
The funding we’ve received from outside entities is an affirmation to us that our work is having that lasting effect. As you read about the various programs that have been funded, I hope that you will also feel moved to contribute in whatever way you are able to the great work being done here in the service of older adults.
Bader Philanthropies has an impressive track record when it comes to funding older adult programs, especially those focused on Alzheimer’s Disease treatment and awareness. We are delighted that they have chosen to support our Intergenerational Education Initiative, which has been a topic in several of our previous email newsletters.
The goal of the program to enrich students’ understanding of aging while allowing older adults with memory loss to draw on their individual strengths to contribute to the educational process. We piloted the program last fall, bringing together a group of around 40 MCH residents and fourth grade students.
One of the reasons this program had specific appeal to Bader Philanthropies was that we are committed to achieving measurable results through pre- and post-testing that will allow the program to be replicated, both here at MCH and at other retirement communities. Our goal is always sustainability and lasting impact.
We first received funding from the Ray and Kay Eckstein Foundation in 2015, and the foundation has committed an even larger grant in 2016. The funds have been committed specifically to support our partnership with the Assumption BVM Province of the Franciscan Friars, in keeping with the foundation’s specific interest in funding the care of retired priests and religious.
As part of our partnership with the friars, we have explored new, creative models of care, putting our 100 years of experience to work improving their health care and quality of life. Specific initiatives in partnership with the friars have included the establishment of a friary in our healthcare center, the hiring of a nurse navigator to manage the retired friars’ health needs, and Clare Gardens, the community farm bringing new life to the friars’ Burlington property. The Eckstein family has recognized the impact of the partnership in the lives of religious men who have given their lives to the Church, and we are glad to have their ongoing support in this important work.
We were excited to learn that the City of Milwaukee has been designated one of the best intergenerational communities in the country by the MetLife Foundation and Generations United. Milwaukee Catholic Home contributed to the application with information about our many innovative intergenerational programs, and the application was submitted by the St. Anne Center for Intergenerational Care in collaboration with the office of Mayor Tom Barrett.
“When individuals from all walks of life come together, positive things happen,” Mayor Barrett said. “I’m proud that residents of all generations are working together to build a stronger Milwaukee and that our efforts have been recognized with this award.”
Learn more about the award at the links below!
MCH is planning another pilgrimage abroad! Our trip to Poland and the Czech Republic will focus on the life and legacy of Pope St. John Paul II. Fr. Tim Kitzke will once again be accompanying us as chaplain. More information can be found at the link below.