UK Nursing Homes Are Looking for Volunteers to ‘Adopt’ a Grandparent for Virtual Visits

This woman's 'adopted' grandson is showing her some sourdough bread he baked from scratch.
This woman's 'adopted' grandson is showing her some sourdough bread he baked from scratch.
stefanamer/iStock via Getty Images

CHD Living, a chain of nursing homes in England, is making sure their self-isolated residents don’t get lonely due to the lack of visitors by launching a virtual version of its “Adopt a Grandparent” program. Before the novel coronavirus outbreak, CHD Living had a similar program in which they encouraged those who lived by the homes to come visit their residents.

As iHeartRadio reports, CHD Living—which includes 13 nursing homes in and around London—is inviting English speakers all over the globe to volunteer for the program, which mostly entails chatting with your adopted grandparent via video or phone call, sharing cheerful stories about your life, and/or mailing them letters, pictures, poems, or postcards.

"The nature of care means that we’re looking after some of the most vulnerable members of society at the moment,” a CHD Living spokesperson told iHeartRadio. “We are however keen to keep spirits in the homes high, and so have been thinking of ways that we can continue to enrich the lives of our residents whilst providing them with stimulation and companionship.”

All you have to do to apply is fill out an online form with some personal information and a few details about your interests. After that, a representative will match you with a “Grandma” or “Grandpa” with compatible hobbies and contact you to arrange a short screening call and discuss the next steps.

CHD Living prefers that volunteers have access to Facebook or WhatsApp—which, according to the website’s FAQ section, are easiest to use with the Facebook Portal TVs installed in each nursing home—but the staff will consider alternate video platforms like Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype with individual volunteers if necessary.

If you’re interested in spending some quality quarantine time with a new friend across the pond, you can fill out an application here.

[h/t iHeartRadio]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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Google Teams Up With The Conscious Kid on a Book List to Promote Racial Equity in Classrooms

Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone is on the list, and for good reason.
Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone is on the list, and for good reason.
Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Glamour

Google has teamed up with The Conscious Kid—an organization that promotes racial equity in education—to curate a list of books and other resources aimed at helping teachers establish more inclusive classrooms and foster conversations about racism and acceptance.

The reading list groups works by grade level, and many of them have corresponding teaching guides with discussion questions, writing prompts, and other activities [PDF]. For Lupita Nyong’o’s Sulwe, which tells the story of a young girl bullied because of her dark skin, students in preschool through second grade are presented questions like “Why do you think Sulwe believes she must have lighter skin in order to make friends? What advice would you give to Sulwe?” For Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, high-schoolers are asked to create a travel brochure for the fictional country of Orïsha, “emphasizing its positive aspects and great variety.”

The online packet also contains a number of guidelines for teachers to consider when choosing their own reading material. One helpful tip, for example, is to re-evaluate the “classics” before assigning them to make sure they don’t reinforce racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, or other harmful messages. Another is to foster healthy racial identity by avoiding books “where characters of color can only succeed when conforming to white values or norms.”

It’s part of Google’s broader campaign to amplify diversity in public education by providing educators with the resources needed to do it. Last year, the company donated $5 million to DonorsChoose—a platform that teachers can use to crowdsource funds for classroom projects—for the launch of #ISeeMe, an initiative that highlights projects submitted by Black and Latinx teachers, as well as those that focus on diversity and inclusion. This year, Google pledged an additional $1 million to matching donations made to #ISeeMe projects.

You can see The Conscious Kid’s full reading list here [PDF], and learn more about contributing to #ISeeMe projects here.