Most of us have come across appeals for donations to “sponsor” or “adopt” a child in the developing world, providing funds to meet his or her basic needs. The most famous of these was an ad campaign that featured a photo of an adorable, impoverished child with a slogan that went something like this: “You can help this child for just pennies a day … or you can turn the page.”
While a photo of a toothless geezer is not likely to have quite the same appeal, some resourceful charities that help old folks have begun to use the sponsorship model. Readers of Unsilent Generation may want to check these out if they are planning to make some last-minute charitable contributions this year:
Help the Aged, a Canadian group that supports poor elderly people in developing countries, has an “Adopt-a-Gran” program, in which you choose an adoptive grandparent and pledge $27 a month “to provide your Gran with food, clothing, medical supplies and shelter.”
The Adopt-a-Native-Elder Program, based in Salt Lake City, offers various options for supporting “traditional Elders who live in the cultural and spiritual traditions of The Dine’ People” (Navajo) in remote areas of the reservation.
And if you want to literally adopt a senior, you can find available candidates through the links at the Senior Dogs Project.