HANCOCK - Twelve years ago, Cindy Drake wanted to create an intergenerational program with impact.
"I wanted to bring young and old together for fellowship and sharing," said Drake, the Tea with Tots program director.
From that thought, Tea with Tots, a social event held once a month to bring young people and elderly people together with Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, was born, she said.
Stacey Kukkonen/Daily Mining Gazette
Faye Carr, caregiver for Ezra and Sketch, African Basenjis, brought the pooches to the monthly Tea with Tots event with the Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly Tuesday in Hancock.
"I am constantly amazed by the results," she said.
Each "tea" session is different in that the venue changes or the event is different such as playing games, reading books, playing bingo or playing charades, however each "tea" event has the same results - younger people and older people coming together to spend time and get to know one another.
"We have been in the Alzheimer's unit at the Medical Care Facility blowing bubbles, been in my back yard doing charades, or at the Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly office making gingerbread houses," Drake said. "It does not matter really what we do, or who gathers, magic abounds as we interact and share our human story with one another."
LBFE adopted the program a decade ago, she said.
"It has been proof that we all need each other, those who walk ahead and pave our path and those who follow behind and remind us of where we have been and what the promise of the future holds for us," Drake said.
Ever since, both generations have been getting together to participate in various community events, and Tuesday afternoon was no exception.
Tuesday, Faye Carr, a caregiver of two African Basenji show dogs, brought her two special guests to the Tea with Tots event at LBFE where kids got the chance to learn about and pet the dogs.
The program with Ezra and Sketch, the African Basenjis, was aimed to introduce respectful space and behavior with the children around companion animals. The event was also in hopes to bring back memories with special pets, she said.
Carr presented the dogs to the children and talked about the intelligent and social behaviors. The kids were then welcome to pet and play with the dogs while interacting with the elderly.
Stacey Kukkonen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.