May 18, 2015

Virtual Hugs Bring Generations Together

Eighth graders Talia Hazlett and Maeve Sherwood raised money for an iPad through the teen initiative “Do Something” ( Their goal was impressive: connect assisted living residents of the Woodbridge Estates in Peabody to those family members they could not visit face-to-face. In the course of their project, the two facilitated conversations and virtual hugs between grandchildren/great grandchildren and relatives in Italy and the Netherlands. They were such joyous occasions! It was an amazing experience for these families to “visit” virtually.
Olivia took over the program from her sister Talia, who started the project. Olivia has continued to expand the “hugs” to include both the residents of Woodbridge and Aviv Skilled Nursing. Olivia recently received the Derek Scheckman Award from the North Shore teen initiative (NSTI). Given to a Jewish high school junior, the award will provide seed money for the continuation of the program post graduate and advice from NSTI for program expansion.
It was an amazing experience for these families to “visit” virtually. To date, Talia, Olivia and Maeve have connected with families in the eight states and two international countries.
Congratulations to Talia and Olivia –and to their mom, Geriatric Care Manager Leslie Hazlett — for bringing such a wonderful program to the Aviv campus of the Chelsea Jewish Lifecare!