For starters, let's get into the mindset of a volunteer who is looking to help someone tell their life story or has been trying to work with people tell their life stories. They've been doing a little bit here or there, but they don't really feel like they've done the best job that they can do or they haven't helped someone complete a project.
This is where the Legacy Recorder comes in. We help volunteers work with
andother community members
to facilitate the storytelling process, regardless of what the final product may look like.
To be able to do this with someone a volunteer needs to be willing to get to know a person and have one on one conversations. Also, they must be able and willing to facilitate group conversations and intentional guided discussions that will help people share parts of their story in an intentional, engaging and fun way.
Why does it matter
From the individual's (the person you are working with) perspective, they are gaining a new relationship with a person they've never met before. They are creating something that will last beyond them and that they are then able to
- leave in their estate
- pass on to their loved ones
- publish commercially and have out in the world,
however, they choose to disperse or not disperse it.
From a relationship standpoint, they're able to create deeper connections
- with volunteers,
- with the staff they encounter,
- with their family,
From the family perspective of an individual that is participating in a legacy series or legacy session, they are potentially seeing a change in their loved one. The loved one may become more engaged in family activities. When families come for visits, they may be more excited about things.
If they're using legacy sessions when the family's visiting, it gives structure to those visits and helps people be more intentional about the time they're spending with their loved one. It's an option for the families to do in addition games etc. It gives that time an intentional approach, and deepens the relationship with the loved one.
What's in it for you as the volunteer?
Any volunteer that is working with people knows that they can look forward to
- rewarding sessions,
- rewarding time,
- and seeing a change in the people they work with.
Your potential impact is far beyond what you will see or witness over the course of the person's lifetime. It may very well be for some people, the most defining moment, or one of the most memorable moments they have, was working with you on their legacy project.
To tell you that your experience as a volunteer is priceless is totally and completely accurate. You will have the opportunity to look into a person's life, into some of their most vulnerable moments, and empower them to celebrate who they are and celebrate them with their family.
I hope this has given you a better understanding of
- working as a volunteer, using the Legacy Recorder
- how it works
- why we need to be doing this
Please share this with the volunteer in your life or with someone who is a staff person in the care facility where your parents/grandparents are. These are the kinds of people who can take the Legacy Recorder and start impacting the people they are working with and serving.
Gael, the Legacy Lady
P.S. You can listen to the full podcast below…