By Brian Covert
You’re never too old to have your dreams fulfilled.
The Halifax-based charity, We Are Young (WAY), grants unfulfilled wishes to seniors living in Nova Scotia. Through granting wishes, their mission is to raise social awareness around the inequalities seniors face, encourage respect for and appreciation of seniors, and facilitate inter-generational connection where seniors experience inclusion and belonging in our communities.
“Fulfilling wishes creates a positive and enriching experience that we know, first hand, creates far-reaching and life-long comforts well after a wish has been granted,” explains WAY co-founder Katie Mahoney.
If you’d like to help their efforts to grant more wishes, WAY is looking for 300+ Wish Champions, a team of people committed to donating a minimum of $15 per month to WAY. These funds will not only help ensure the longevity of WAY but help cover the average cost of one wish per month or 12 wishes per year. Wishes include everything from skydiving at 90 years old, a helicopter ride to Sable Island, to skating on Ottawa’s Rideau Canal.
“Granting a wish looks different for each senior. It could be fulfilling a lifelong dream, re-experiencing a passion, or reconnecting with loved ones they haven’t seen in years,” says Mahoney. “For every wish we grant, we believe that it brings us closer to positively changing the way society views, values and supports our oldest generations.”
We Are Young was founded by Mahoney and Cara Chisholm after Mahoney was nominated to do an act of kindness in her community and chose to spend time with 79-year old Eleanor. While Eleanor certainly benefited from the visits, Katie was so moved by Eleanor’s strength and perseverance that she, along with Chisholm, was compelled to start WAY in 2015.
“Our organization has had steady growth since inception and more people are learning about our efforts and wanting to know how they can get involved,” says Mahoney.
WAY’s hope is to become a household name as Nova Scotia continues to age. According to census numbers, Nova Scotia’s 65+ population could be between 20% and 25% of the total population this decade. Connecting with this population is a wonderful opportunity to enhance all of our communities today and into the future.
“We’re excited that we have been around for the last seven years, and we can’t wait to see what the next seven have in store”
In becoming a Wish champion, you join a group of people committed to helping seniors achieve their dream. To become a Monthly Wish Champion visit www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/m/71096 or again go to www.weareyoung.ca/wish-champions to learn more.