Best Intergenerational Communities award honors us all

PLYMOUTH HAS JOINED JUST a handful of communities across the nation recognized as a “Best Intergenerational Community” by Met Life Foundation/Generations United. Only three communities were selected for the award this year – the greater Richmond, Va., area; Carlisle, Mass.; and the greater Plymouth area. Only three to four communities from throughout the nation are selected for the award each year by Generations United. A majority of the honorees are large cities or metropolitan areas, like Phoenix and San Diego, which makes it even more impressive that Plymouth was selected this year.

It’s a recognition of just one of the many things that make the Plymouth area unique and a great place to live, work and play.

As Generations United put it in their announcement of the award:

An intergenerational community is not just one where multiple generations reside. It is one where individuals of all ages are an integral and valued part of the setting. This perspective is reflected in the families, structures, facilities and services that children, youth and older adults encounter in the community as well as in day-to-day interactions and relationships.

As Robert Blancato, former executive director of the White House Conference on Aging and a judge for the award competition, put it, “It is said you can live anywhere, but that does not make it a livable community. These awards signify that a critical component of a livable community is one that fosters an environment where generations live and work together.”

And Denis White, president and chief executive officer of MetLife Foundation, pointed out, “Communities that care for and engage all members – regardless of age – deepen bonds between the generations and set an important example for other communities to follow.”

This award is mainly a recognition of the Plymouth Intergenerational Coalition and their successful and landmark Generations intergenerational center, but it goes much deeper than that.

It is a recognition of the values and beliefs of all those who live and work here, their respect for the value and worth of each and every one of us, regardless of age.

Long before there was a PIC and a Generations building, there was a spirit of valuing everyone in our community and everything they brought to the total picture. Young and old alike have always come together here not just for special events or causes, but in everyday life and happenings.

It was out of that spirit of total community that the dream that ultimately became the Plymouth Intergenerational Coalition and the Generations center grew. This award recognizes that heritage as well as the achievements of PIC.

Despite a few stumbles and setbacks as they began their efforts, PIC and Generations are flourishing and should continue to do so, with the support of the community and the guidance, direction and energy of dedicated directors, contributors, staff and supporters.

It is a fitting honor that Plymouth has been named as one of America’s Best Intergenerational Communities and just another endorsement of the Cheese Capitol of the World as a great place with great people.

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