Final Reflections

Bethany and I are officially home in Omaha, NE.  We completed our Live It! Project on Sunday, July 10 and now we are spending the rest of the summer with our families.  We are both sad to have left the Twin Cities but especially bummed not to have more time with all the wonderful people we met over the past two months at Clare Midtown.

It’s hard to describe the relationships we formed with the residents, but I like to think of them as father/daughter or uncle/niece relationships.  Our interactions were silly, sarcastic, honest, loving, and serious at the same time.  Even though we only spent two months with these people we felt like we had known them for years.  Everyone started calling us “the girls” and we hope they will remember us over the summer and until we return to Minnesota in January (after Fall semester abroad).

Here are some photos from our last events at Midtown.

The Live It! Grant gave us the chance to carry out an amazing project.  We watched relationships grow and residents become more open to activities.  They came to events in good moods and were more social with each other.  When we said goodbye to everyone they were extremely thankful for the work we did at Midtown and were sad to see us go.  We hope that volunteers and staff will continue the main events we started like movie nights, bingo night, bowling trips, Clare Cafe, and yoga class.  We encourage everyone to look at the three guidebooks we created for the IGC (specifically the IGC student council and members of the CEC).  One is specifically for the IGC and gives a section on “lessons learned” and a section on “how to create community”.  The second guidebook is a copy of the book we left for the residents at Clare Midtown, and the third guidebook is a copy of the staff/volunteer book.  We also left a CD containing all the pictures we took during our project.  Thank you IGC Student Council for giving us the opportunity to create community at Clare Midtown.

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