Happy 25th Birthday to the Bridges Program!

A 1991 article from the Sudbury Town Crier about Andrea and what is now known as the Bridges program.

A 1991 article from the Sudbury Town Crier about Andrea and what is now known as the Bridges program.

The Bridges program turned 25 years old this autumn. Bridges Together Founder and Executive Director Andrea J. Fonte Weaver reflects on the 25-year (and counting!) Bridges journey…

It’s hard to believe that 25 years ago, after I wrote a grant proposal and addendum for a summer business writing class, my now-husband Herb had a “brain spark.” He suggested I see if my hometown’s senior center was interested in applying for the grant. They were. The grant was funded by The Sudbury Foundation, and I piloted a program that is now known as “Bridges.” I never could have dreamed that Bridges would run for 25 years, that I would train hundreds of people to implement the program locally, that more than 13,000 children and volunteers would be involved and that the program would spread to Michigan and California.

 

Furthermore, I would never have guessed that thousands more would be impacted by the program’s interview questions that unite grandparent and grandchildren; that people impacted by the program would encourage me to found an organization dedicated to advocacy and training on intergenerational programming; that I would be able to hire women who could build and support an infrastructure of local teachers, librarians, community and senior center staff who were on the frontlines uniting generations.

I also couldn’t have imagined my personal life – Herb and I now have four sons who are in high school and college.  Life is truly a journey and we never know what’s around the bend. I am so very grateful for each person I meet – many whom travel with me, some who challenge me to strengthen my skills and others who give me direction to the next destination.

I am also grateful for each person who makes a tax-deductible donation to Bridges Together – these funds are critical so we can convene, train and support local intergenerational leadership teams so that THEY, in turn, can unite youth and mature adults.

Wishing you a beautiful holiday season filled with love, joy, hope and peace…

Andrea

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