Family Friends, a program of the Intergenerational Center, is one of five nationwide recipients of the Generations United "Program of Distinction" award. This honor, bestowed in November 2018, is the U.S. benchmark of excellence in intergenerational programming. The prestigious designation remains effective for three years.
Generations United was "founded in 1986 by leaders at the National Council on Aging, Child Welfare League of America, Children's Defense Fund and AARP." Its mission "...is to improve the lives of children, youth, and older people through intergenerational collaboration, public policies, and programs for the enduring benefit of all."
Family Friends, part of Temple University for approximately 30 years, partners with community elders (aged 55+) for year-round outreach to households citywide that are raising a loved one from birth to 21 years of age and experiencing eligible circumstances such as a diagnosis, being led by a kinship caregiver, social isolation and/or significant loss.
Alysia Williams has spearheaded this civic engagement initiative for nearly seven years. Williams shared, "Persons involved with Family Friends hold each other in high esteem and gain wisdom by building community through intention, warmth and respect across the lifespan to spark strong relationships, constructive learning and mutual empowerment."
Patience Lehrman, executive director of the Intergenerational Center, special assistant to the dean for strategic partnerships & community affairs and executive director of the Career & Technical Education Center stated, "We are delighted and honored to have received this Program of Distinction designation which serves as the U.S. benchmark for intergenerational programs. This is a tremendous recognition of our work, but more importantly, this recognition honors the intergenerational families, team of mentors, community partners and funders that make our work possible. Specifically, we want to thank the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging and the Philadelphia Department of Human Services for their integral, long-lasting support as well as our newest supporter, the Brookdale Foundation Group-Relatives as Parents Program."
To continue this work, Family Friends accepts individual donations for events like our December holiday gift drive, and welcomes grant opportunities from funding partners interested in bolstering and expanding the long-term impact of the program in Philadelphia.
About the Intergenerational Center at Temple University (Temple IGC)
Achieving 40 years of service in 2019, the Intergenerational Center at Temple University strengthens communities by bringing generations together to address critical concerns and create opportunities for lifelong civic engagement. The center's respite support division provides services for families with special needs, children/youth who might be considered at-risk and elders whose health is frail.