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]

Wednesday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Computer Monitors, Plant-Based Protein Powder, and Blu-ray Sets

As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 2. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

Starbucks Is Giving Free Coffee to Frontline COVID-19 Workers All Month Long

Starbucks is saying thank you in typical Starbucks fashion.
Starbucks is saying thank you in typical Starbucks fashion.

Starbucks is showing its support for those individuals on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 this holiday season by giving the gift of free coffee—all month long.

From now through December 31, any health care worker or other frontline worker can get a tall hot or iced coffee whenever they stop by Starbucks. The offer extends to just about anybody in a medical profession, including doctors, nurses, public health administrators, pharmacists, paramedics, dentists and dental hygienists, therapists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and other mental health professionals. Non-medical hospital personnel—including members of the janitorial, housekeeping, and security staffs—also qualify, as do emergency dispatchers, firefighters, police officers, and active-duty members of the military.

To address the pandemic’s emotional toll on essential workers, Starbucks has also contributed $100,000 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness to be used for virtual mental health services; and the company will give out 50,000 Starbucks care packages and gift cards to frontline workers across the country. While the main goal is to show gratitude to those keeping the nation afloat during an extremely difficult time, Starbucks is also hoping their initiative can be an example for other companies with resources to spare.

“Hopefully other brands will join us in thinking about how [they can] use their platform to again show support,” Virginia Tenpenny, Starbucks's vice president of global social impact, told USA TODAY. “Little deposits in morale can really go a long way, just so that they feel the support from our community.”

It’s not the first time Starbucks has spearheaded a long-term coffee giveaway this year; between March and May, the company handed out more than 2 million free cups of joe to professionals helping the country through the coronavirus pandemic. The Starbucks Foundation has also donated several million dollars to relief funds, food banks, and local organizations.

[h/t USA Today]