Municipal senior centers are a fun and simple way to share Eternal Roots with the community. These are city-operated facilities that provide a multitude of activities for seniors, and they are often looking for vendors to sponsor events. Senior centers exist in every municipality in the County of San Diego, and several are located within a short drive of my home. These facilities serve inexpensive meals and offer a wide range of activities and classes, and this is a great way for seniors to keep active social lives.
I simply called the centers and asked for the activity director. I introduce myself and describe my service, and ask if they had any programs where I could share my message. Many senior centers host weekly Bingo games, and they are always looking for sponsors. In the last month I sponsored two Bingo events at the San Marcos Senior Center.
Last week I hosted Bingo at the Gloria McClellan Adult Activity & Resource Center, located at 1400 Vale Terrace Drive in Vista.
I called the activity director Maia, and explained what Eternal Roots is about. Maia immediately grasped the concept provided sponsorship options. I opted with Bingo because that is what I know. I had to purchase several $5 gift cards as prizes for the event, and Maia suggested that I attach them to my brochures.
The Vista Senior Center is within Brengle Terrace Park, in a quiet part of the city. The center is nestled on a hill, off the main road. I entered the facility and finally got to meet Maia in person. She walked me through the Bingo process, and showed me where to set up. I was thrilled to see about 50 people in the main hall. Maia was eager to see my materials so I showed her my brochure, the documentary DVD, and the transcribed booklet (my favorite part). Maia said this would be a great gift for her father.
Soon before the Bingo event started, Maia took the mic and introduced me to the room. She told them to pay close attention to my presentation because I was a unique sponsor with a service they wanted to learn about. During the Bingo event I was tasked with distributing prizes to the winners around the room. It was a fun way to interact with the room, and I felt like Vanna White from Wheel of Fortune.
At the close of the game the mic was handed to me, and I spent a few minutes introducing the room to this passion project of mine. I walked them through the process and shared some of the subject matter I cover in the interview. During the lunch service I had a steady stream of people stopping by to examine the booklet and to ask questions. I then joined a table for lunch and we talked about our careers and families. I took the few pamphlets remaining and placed them in a wall mount in the main entryway.
I chatted with one lady who was very interested in preserving her personal story. She said she is healthy today, but feels her mind isn't as sharp as it once was. I told her there should always be a sense of urgency to record one's story because tomorrow isn't promised to any of us. She expressed some uncertainty about being able to afford the cost, and I suggested that she share the concept with her children. Her eyes widened and she said "yes, I should tell them I want this for my birthday!"
The main impression I took from this event was the people were very friendly and open to learning about the custom documentary concept. Like any budding entrepreneur, I struggle with my own self doubts, especially while walking a path only a handful of people have walked across the country. The positive response I got at the Vista Senior Center confirmed I am on the right path, this project has meaning and value, and I need to continue doing exactly what I'm doing. I need to share this message with as many people as possible, and senior centers are a fun and efficient vehicle to get the word out.
The next day, back at the law office, I saw a noticeable bump in web traffic at my website. I got a call from an attendee who invited me to his home so he can learn more about the process.
About the Blog
Here I write about the evolution of this project, the act of preserving life stories and personal development. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.