More than 100 people of all ages walked through Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood on Sunday morning for FriendshipWorks' 7th annual "Walk to End Elder Isolation."
You're never too old to have a new friend, and you're never too young to have an old friend -- that's what the executive director of FriendshipWorks always says.
"Loneliness and social isolation is huge in this country," said Janet Seckel-Cerrotti. "There are so many people who don’t see anyone during the week.”
Seckel-Cerrotti was happy to be back in-person this year for the nonprofit's annual walk. Their mission, she says, is to reduce social isolation, improve quality of life and maintain the dignity of older adults in the Greater Boston area by connecting volunteers with older adults for friendship and support.
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After the pandemic, she says, it's crucial.
“The silver lining in it is that people have become aware of social isolation and have been able to touch a little bit for themselves,” she said.
The group is pairing up people with friends of all ages. Lynn Sekulow, for example, has a new bowling buddy.
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"Every Monday she comes by and we do bowling together with my group,” the Brighton resident said.
And while Serena Heartz was at work, her parents found new company.
"My mother was very old and isolated and my father called FriendshipWorks to see if she could get a friend…” Heartz said. "Of course they became almost best buddies.”
On Sunday, about 150 walkers were stepping into new friendships.
“To have a cup of tea, to laugh together," Seckel-Cerrotti said. "What’s better than that?”
The event had raised more than $87,000 as of Sunday night, according to the nonprofit's website.