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Life Stories are Gifts that Keep on Giving

November 17, 2016

Looking for a unique gift to give or receive for the holidays? Share your story or give someone the gift to share his or her story with North Shore Senior Center’s Life Stories Program. Don’t know what to say or don’t think you have anything significant to share? Mimi Hart, a volunteer in the program for three years, begs to differ. “Most people say they have nothing to say, but I say everybody could talk for hours with ‘nothing to say,’” she chuckles.


Here’s how it works: for the first meeting, participants meet with a trained volunteer to identify themes or topics they want to cover. During the second visit, ideally in the comfort of their home, they share and record their stories in a conversational interview. The interview is about one hour in length and is then transferred to CDs to keep and/or share. “I’ve had folks cover certain chapters of their lives like their career or childhood, and I’ve had grandchildren get interviews as gifts for their grandparents so they can have their story long after they’re gone,” says Mimi. “It’s up to you to share what you want with whom you want.”


“Oftentimes, participants worry at first about what to say,” says Mimi. “Usually, once people relax and start talking they find it to be a fun experience.” Mimi and her brother recorded their childhood story up through high school together. “Once we got going, we were laughing and crying and having such fun!” For her the gift truly is priceless as her brother died in a tragic accident one year later. She says she’s so happy they shared that experience and she treasures her CD more than anything.


So whether you are grandparents, new parents, world travelers, recent graduates, veterans, athletes or artists, we all have a story to share. The cost is $40 for members and $50 for non-members. Call 847.784.6085 for more information or to book your appointment.