Here is a match made in heaven:  teenagers in Brazil who want to improve their English are having regular web chats with elders in a Chicago retirement home.  The Speaking Exchange pairs the two groups for regular long-distance conversations in a brilliant alignment.  Retirees have lots of time and stories and Brazilian teens have a desire to hear informal English.  It is a genius, low cost idea that is benefiting both groups.

Often we think about sharing things, but not people. 

How can your organization follow their example and think broadly about a way to meet your needs by pairing with the human resources another group has to offer?  When you get to the core of what you are seeking, is there someone out there who may be able to partner with you to provide it?  

Could empty-nesters who are sending their last child off to college become foster parents (as my sister has suggested)?  Maybe there is a group of people willing to help those with mobility issues be able to travel the globe?  Perhaps you could match “web pals” instead of pen pals for classrooms to adopt a member of the military?

Have your group brainstorm how to emulate the Speaking Exchange.  There are over 7 billion people on Earth.  Surely you can partner with a few of them for mutual benefit.

— beth triplett


Thanks Meg for sharing

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