A photo of a large group of Seniors With Skills volunteers who are volunteering once a week at Pines Rehabilitation Center

Jaya Manjunath + Seniors With Skills Team – Seniors With Skills Expansion Project

Date grant awarded: August 31, 2019

Seniors With Skills is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization determined to create a movement to end social isolation of seniors in the United States. The organization was founded by long-term retirement home volunteer, Jaya Manjunath, when she started teaching seniors how to use the computers and knit for causes. From here, two main programs emerged that are still used today throughout America. Wanting to encourage seniors to get involved from the retirement residence, we started the “Cards and Knitting Program” where volunteers show seniors how to make cards and knit caps and blankets for pediatric hospital and hospice patients. Without stepping out of the residence, seniors can now make an impactful change in the lives of many hospital patients.

Our second program is a “Computer Training Program” where we help seniors learn how to use technology to connect with their family and friends. While the organization originally started as a small group in Olean, New York, there are currently over 100 Seniors With Skills volunteers from Boston, New York, Rochester, Olean, Virginia, Michigan and more states running one of our programs. These seniors we have impacted are no longer in retirement residences waiting to be entertained; they have become active while improving their cognitive function and overall quality of life.