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2008 — Community
Building bridges between the generations
During the meeting of employees who participated in Worldwide Month of Service activities in 2007, our talented volunteers commented that seniors rarely benefit from ACTION programs. This stems from the fact that the residences where they live are owned by private concerns and are not eligible for Alcoa Foundation grants.
That’s when the idea came of integrating the non-profit Fédération de l’Âge d’Or du Québec (Fadoq) – Quebec Seniors’ Federation – which opened a whole new world of possibilities. The first, undertaken in June 2008, brought together kindergarten children from Deschambault’s Le Phare school and seniors from the Centre d’accueil L’Oasis in the same municipality, for a visit to the Notre-Dame-du-Cap basilica in Cap-de-la-Madeleine.
Early in the morning, a bus left Deschambault carrying several trios made up of a kindergarten student, a senior and a volunteer companion.
The basilica has a rich history that began in 1659 with the construction of a wooden chapel. The impressive structure we see today was inaugurated in 1964. Our visitors started with a full history of this revered pilgrimage site. They were then introduced to the Casavant organ, a true showpiece made up of 74 stops and 5,544 pipes, whose resonant tones only add to the grandeur and solemnity of the surroundings. Of course, the organist made sure they appreciated the full majesty of this musical gem.
A mass and parish lunch followed, and then it was time to get back on the bus. All of our “trios”, now sharing fond memories of a pleasant day out, took the road home with smiles all around.
Thanks to the donation from the ACTION program, Fadoq was not only able to pay for the outing, memories of which still warm the hearts of young and old alike, but also enabled it to purchase a aviary for all the residents of the Centre Oasis to enjoy. And that’s not all! It also organized an activity with a storyteller. The kindergarten children, who were happy to join their golden aged friends for another “adventure”, were also invited to the event.
Through the power of initiative, which is never in short supply among our volunteers, the generation gap was closed, albeit for a short time, thanks to a very successful ACTION program.