Skip to main content

The SAY Project Connects Generations

09/25/2014 12:00AM, Published by Claudia Mosby, Categories: In Print



Say Yes

October 2014
By Claudia Mosby
Photos: Betsy Erickson

No one wakes up one day suddenly a senior. It takes staying power and tenacity to earn the title and its prize wisdom, the kind of wisdom that Someone Asked You (SAY) Project founder Michele Queiser believes will benefit younger generations.

“Our elders are passing and with them so are the answers to what is ailing some of our youth,” Queiser says. “These folks are our historians and they can show the younger generation that everything old is new again.”

After spending two decades as an activity director at retirement communities throughout Northern California, Queiser found herself at a crossroads after a work-related injury. “I accepted that I could no longer facilitate activities,” she says, “but I needed to continue with the communication aspect of what I used to do. I knew I could bring the generations together for learning and enrichment.”

Thus was born the SAY Project, which seeks to preserve the life lessons, stories and historical remembrances of the older generation. Set topics include wisdom, work, war and wedding as well as the elder experience and perspective on historical events.

Interviews are conducted within participating retirement communities mostly by those who are school- or college-aged, but Queiser plans to broaden the scope to include multi-generational families and members of the general community. She is quick to add, “I have had companies that have sent older volunteers and it has been equally good.”

Interviewers receive a toolkit that includes a recorder with memory card, iPad tablet for written transcription and a packet with step-by-step interview instructions and thoughtprovoking suggested questions. The SAY project provides the needed coaching.

“We see so many young people who do not know how to stay married getting divorced or who have difficulty parenting,” says Queiser. “The seniors offer simple, practical wisdom in these areas.” Each participant receives a free CD of the recorded interview and Queiser is working to get the SAY archive included in the Library of Congress.

A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization inspired in part by StoryCorps, SAY hosts several ongoing events designed to foster intergenerational interaction in a relaxed, inviting atmosphere. At Legacy Lunches, with their “history comes to life” theme, younger participants meet with a panel of elders who share what it was like to experience a historical event (such as Pearl Harbor or the assassination of President Kennedy).

“It helps those who are younger connect the dots between what they see on a movie or television screen or read in a book and the human emotion of what it was like to go through that experience,” says Queiser.

Life Lunches are more intimate, offering an opportunity for personal conversation. “We go to a senior center or retirement community, set up a lunch and allow the younger folks to get to know the older folks one-on-one,” Queiser says. “It’s a great community service project for the schools because it allows students to interview someone unknown to them and practice their communication skills.”

This month, the SAY Project will participate in the annual Make A Difference Day, a “national day of doing good.” Although the national event is scheduled annually for the fourth Saturday of October, Queiser says the SAY Project provides an opportunity for intergenerational community service and interviews any day of the year. “We would like to partner with any retirement community, church, school, or corporation,” she adds.

For those wanting to make a beginning, either as interviewer or subject, The SAY Project is committed to a monthly Redding Public Libraries project.

“There are theories that seniors love to play bingo every day or that they live in the past,” adds Queiser. “Not true. They want to be involved. My goal is to do something today so we go home with a sense of purpose.”

Find the Wedding Wisdom CD
(530) 348-2259 • www.thesayproject.org




  • Coffee Painting Silent Auction

    09/21/2017
    08:00AM — 06:00PM

    We are building a 24' Tiny House on Wheels, the first of many that will make up our Tiny House Co...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    09/21/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • For the month of September, the Highland Art Center will feature a fun interactive exhibit with h...


  • An Evening at the Vineyard

    09/21/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Enjoy the beautiful scenery that Matson Vineyards has to offer, all while enjoying Wine tasting, ...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Vinyl Night

    09/21/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Vinyl Night! Join us downtown the first and third Thursday of every month. We are going to ditch ...


  • Art Show

    09/21/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    On September 21st, The Crowning Jewels in downtown Redding will feature a fun art exhibit with ...


  • Coffee Painting Silent Auction

    09/22/2017
    08:00AM — 06:00PM

    We are building a 24' Tiny House on Wheels, the first of many that will make up our Tiny House Co...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    09/22/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Free Taste Test

    09/22/2017
    03:00PM — 05:30PM

    Choose to make September the start of a healthier life by joining the fun at the following FREE r...


  • Hayfork Farmers' Market

    09/22/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    Come listen to live music, shop for local goods and produce and cultivate community! The Farmers'...


  • For the month of September, the Highland Art Center will feature a fun interactive exhibit with h...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    09/22/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • 2017 Autumn Exhibit - Reception

    09/22/2017
    05:00PM — 07:00PM

    Please join us as we welcome the Artists whose work will be featured in Art in the City’s Autumn ...


  • Riverfront Playhouse Presents

    09/22/2017
    07:30PM

    By Mary Lynn Dobson Directed by Samantha Fork Welcome to another stellar season at the Neighbo...


  • Coffee Painting Silent Auction

    09/24/2017
    08:00AM — 06:00PM

    We are building a 24' Tiny House on Wheels, the first of many that will make up our Tiny House Co...


  • A gathering and show by collectors of military memorabilia. Helicopter fly-ins, armament and equi...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    09/24/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Jewelry Making Classes for All Levels

    09/24/2017
    12:30PM — 03:30PM

    The Siskiyou Arts Museum in Dunsmuir will once again offer a jewelry making class with Mt. Shasta...


  • Kitchen Tour

    09/24/2017
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Kitchen Tour: Tour 5 fabulous renovated kitchens on Sunday September 24th, from 1 to 5 pm in the ...


  • Riverfront Playhouse Presents

    09/24/2017
    02:00PM

    By Mary Lynn Dobson Directed by Samantha Fork Welcome to another stellar season at the Neighbo...


  • Leann Rimes

    09/24/2017
    07:30PM

    LeAnn Rimes has sold more than 44 million albums, won two GRAMMY Awards, three Academy of Country...


  • Coffee Painting Silent Auction

    09/25/2017
    08:00AM — 06:00PM

    We are building a 24' Tiny House on Wheels, the first of many that will make up our Tiny House Co...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    09/25/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


Enter to Win!

 
Check out our sister publication, Enjoy Magazine: South Valley Living
Wedding Style Guide 2017
Enjoy Magazine Facebook
Enjoy Magazine Instagram Instagram
Enjoy Magazine Pinterest Enjoy Magazine

Enjoy Our Sponsors