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LU students, retirees celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day

LU students, retirees celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day

February 16th, 2019 by Jeff Haldiman in Local News

Breaun Grover, left, talks to Melvin Proctor on Friday as the two become familiar during a visit of Lincoln University by Primrose Retirement Community residents. Grover, a college junior who hails from Waukegan, Illinois, plans to attend law school after she finishes her courses at LU.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

Many times we've heard of a "generation gap" and how it seems to have widened over the past several years.

Two groups continued efforts to bridge that gap Friday.

For the past four years, residents from Primrose Retirement Community on Freedom Boulevard have gone to Lincoln University to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day. Since it falls on Sunday this year, the residents went Friday to the Scruggs University Center to meet students and give them gift bags with snacks and gift cards. The students, in turn, provided lunch for the residents.

"We just want you all to mingle and get to know one another," said Dawn Collins, who is the life enrichment coordinator at Primrose and a Lincoln graduate. "Some of you have been out to our community and talked with each other already."

Among the residents who visited LU were Joycelyn Dowdy and Evelyn Baur. Both women said they had gone to this event the past three years and gotten as much out of it as the students.

"We learn from them, and we hope they learn something from us," Dowdy said. "We share, and it's always fun."

"We hope that through our kindness to them, they will pay it forward," Baur said. "I never cease to be amazed by these kids. Here we are, us old people, and we are set in our ways. It's so good to visit with these young people."

Both women said it gives them real hope the next generation has young leaders in their midst.

"They have some wonderful ideas, and their ambitions and goals are very impressive to me," Baur said.

"We hear so many negative stories about our youth and what they do, but we have seen so many positive things as we have interacted with these students," Dowdy said.

Both women also said it doesn't take much to make their meetings with the students special. Sometimes, it's just a hug.

Four times a year, women from Lincoln's Women's Resource Center go out to Primrose and visit, Baur said.

"Sometimes, it's the same ones who have come in the past and you really get close to them," she said. "We do crafts and other fun things with them. It's just a wonderful relationship we have — the young people with us old people."

Many of the residents are Lincoln graduates and said they want to encourage the students to continue to reach their goals and complete their education.

Jaylea Fields is a sophomore at Lincoln who has visited with some of the residents in the past. Being from Illinois, she said, it's nice to have that feeling of home she gets when talking to the Primrose residents.

"It's fun to play games and do crafts with them," Fields said. "It helps me to get out of my comfort zone and interact with people of all ages."