Kids4Seniors is a new program started by 10-year-old Giavonna Antonucci.
Gia attends the Eagle Arts Academy in Wellington and heads to the Boys & Girls Club after school. She has been around senior citizens her whole life, since her mother is a certified dementia practitioner and runs a business called RecBox LLC. When Gia would go with her mother to see clients, she noticed that many seniors that were alone and looked sad. Gia would always go over and hug them or sing a song with them, and noticed how this changed their mood.
After seeing a Disney commercial called “Kids for Change,” Gia decided to start a program where kids could visit seniors who don’t get visitors, so more kids could make a difference in these seniors’ lives.
Gia got the kids from the Boys & Girls Club to help her in her mission. She has partnered with several senior communities, including Brookdale Senior Living, to set up visits with the children, especially with seniors who don’t have family nearby or have outlived their friends and families and don’t get visitors. RecBox will be providing the children with games and activities that they can engage in when they visit.
According to the 2010 Census, 11 million seniors are living alone. Almost half of seniors over the age of 65 suffer from loneliness, which causes cognitive decline, depression and even early death. A regular visit from a child can help reduce these numbers and help improve the quality of life for these seniors.
Gia also believes that visiting the seniors will help the kids as well. The kids will learn kindness, compassion and empathy. That’s why Gia asked Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig to help her recognize the kids. Each kid participating in the program will get a special community kindness award from the mayor.
For additional information on the Kids4Seniors program, visit www.recbox.org and click on the Kids4Seniors tab.
ABOVE: Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig with Giavonna Antonucci.