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Life Stories for the Ages: The Gift of a Lifetime

We celebrate older adults by capturing their life stories on video or via phone interviews. Capture a story. Connect the generations.

$5,155
pledged of$5,000 goal
36
0Days Left

Project Description

Our Mission 

Life Stories for the Ages is on a mission to preserve the rich stories of community elders for the benefit of all generations.  Older adults are especially vulnerable during the pandemic, yet they have lived through wars, measles and polio quarantines so their perspective on the current crisis is unique and invaluable.  Older adults can inspire us through their vulnerability and courage, their humor and resilience.  Now more than ever, we need their stories.    

NOTE:  we are shifting gears due to Covid-19, offering this documentary service as a virtual digital video product for the foreseeable future.  We are also offering audio-only life stories, through interviews conducted by phone!  Please see our "All Ears" reward for additional information.  All services will be engineered remotely until it is safe to move to in-person taping.  

 

What's the Problem?  (er... problems)

We want to preserve memories of our loved ones. 
According to a recent study by Allianz Life Insurance, for both baby boomers and individuals age 72 and older, legacies are about life stories and values: "...this was the most important aspect of their legacy, ahead of personal possessions and the expectation of inheritance for financial well-being."

 

Social isolation is real - and the pandemic has made it worse.  
As writers Linda Poon and Sarah Holder point out in this article,  "Shelter-in-place edicts have the potential to exacerbate the loneliness crisis among older adults, who are now unable to see families or attend social gatherings.  For those in nursing homes, especially, the isolation is compounded by far higher risk of catching a deadly case of the virus."  AND YET... "it’s easy to forget that older adults are resilient, and can offer guidance to the younger members of their communities."

 

It's hard to know where you're going if you don't know where you come from.   
Many of us have older family members we look up to but know very little about.  Their stories may surprise you.  They may also inspire you, and help you better understand personality traits you have, or navigate a problem in life that your elder has also faced.
 
Photo by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash
 

How It Works

Life Stories for the Ages offers a unique way of leaving a legacy: through storytelling on digital audio and video, technology that lasts for decades.  Combining virtual video interviews with photos, memorabilia, meaningful music and titles, we will produce well-crafted visual narratives that can be viewed on a computer, tablet or smartphone.  Our audio-only bios will be captured through phone interviews that are then layered with meaningful music and sound effects (see our "All Ears" reward for more information on this service).
 
 
We are updating the established tradition of oral history storytelling by
using a platform that engages people visually and emotionally,
so family members can cherish the unique voices, gestures
and life experiences of someone they love over and over again.  

 

So many lives well led.  So many stories to tell!

 

One in five residents of Florida is age 65 or older. 
We aim to capture the life stories of South Florida residents age 70 or older who want to share the essence of who they are and the events that shaped their lives, or simply share with the general public the story behind their success. 

 

A unique opportunity for baby boomers 
Covid-19 has inspired many baby boomers to move their aging parents into their own homes in order to limit their exposure to the coronavirus.  This multi-generational setup presents a unique opportunity for our virtual video service!  As we go about creating a video keepsake of parents and aging family members, tech-savvy adult children can assist with basic steps to compliment our extensive virtual pre-production and production support.   
 

 

 

 

Why am I asking for your help?

The value of capturing a life story is immeasurable.  But producing them is time-consuming, and it can get expensive.   I am raising money in order to fund the cost of producing, editing and marketing a handful of short, sample videos and audio-only biographies, to introduce Life Stories for the Ages to a wider audience.

 

The Impact of Covid-19

With untold numbers of older adults still in quarantine, it is not only important that we connect with our loved ones but that we do so safely.  With this new reality in mind, we intend to provide extensive pre-production and production support for our virtual video service in order to optimize the experience for our customers.  We are also super excited to offer audio-only life stories - personal histories captured through phone interviews that are then crafted into lively, polished narratives.  Bottom line: Life Stories for the Ages is going to be different from how I originally envisioned it, but it is still going to be powerful.  Because stories have power no matter how they are delivered. 

 

It has been stated repeatedly, but supporting small businesses during this time is extremely vital.  As a female-owned business, I am incredibly grateful for your generosity.

 

THANK YOU!

 

 

About Us

Jana Panarites, Founder & CEO
I've worked in storytelling and media production for over 25 years, from network and public television production to authoring a book and launching the popular digital radio show The Agewyz Podcast. As host of the podcast, I've had the privilege of interviewing over 150 people about their experiences of aging and caring for family members and friends.  Life Stories for the Ages is the culmination of many years of media work and speaks to my own roots as a Greek American whose grandparents were a big part of my life growing up.  They were the wise elders I looked up to, who left behind everything that was familiar as they emigrated from Greece to the US and Canada to make a better life for themselves.  My maternal Yia-Yia  (grandmother) was particularly adventurous, traveling all on her own as a teenager from the Greek island of Lesbos to Toronto to meet her future husband in an arranged marriage.  Her plight and that of so many women like her was fictionalized in this 2004 movie (Yia-Yia's story had a happier ending).  Although she's no longer with us, I'd like to think that somewhere in the universe, Yia-Yia knows about this project and is smiling her approval.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patrick Farrington, Director of Photography | Editor
In his own words:  When Jana first told me about Life Stories for the Ages, I was excited for the opportunity to collaborate on the first full-length video.  I’ve been a shooter/editor since the early 1990’s and have logged many hours behind the camera recording talking heads. However, this time was different… our subject wasn’t selling widgets or discussing 3rd quarter financials – they were sharing heartfelt stories about their past, stories that literally shaped who they are today.
It was engaging, refreshing & enlightening and it was obvious they wanted their stories to be heard – and professionally preserved. If the experience was this moving for me, I can only imagine how touching it must be for families that decide to have a legacy video produced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Campaign FAQs

Please email jana@agewyz.com with any questions you may have.  

 

 

 

 

zoe
06/24/2020
All Ears
$500
06/08/2020
Monetary Contribution
$25
05/23/2020
All Ears
$500
caroline little
04/08/2020
Rise Up!
$100
David Begnaud
04/08/2020
Monetary Contribution
$150
Lisa Rockoff Vivori
03/31/2020
Shout Out on Social Media
$25
martina chaconas
03/26/2020
Rise Up!
$100
Lisa B
03/23/2020
If I Knew Then...
$50
Laura
03/23/2020
Monetary Contribution
$25
Kate Igoe
03/21/2020
Monetary Contribution
$30
Monetary Contribution
These are hard times for everyone... especially for entrepreneurs like me who are not on a payroll and trying to keep our doors open by crowdfunding in a crisis.  If you are not into rewards/swag and have the ability to make a financial contribution - $5, $10, $25 or more -  I would be grateful beyond measure for any financial contribution you make.  All donors will be personally thanked and have our undying gratitude.
10 Supporters
Select this reward
25.00 USD
Food for Thought (and Comfort)
Now that we're all spending more time indoors, and in the kitchen, here's a chance to create two authentic Greek recipes passed down from Jana's Yia-Yia (grandmother).  You won't find these on the Internet since they lived in Yia-Yia's head, and she never used measuring cups.  So as a child learning at her apron, Jana gently persuaded Yia-Yia to use measuring cups just once so she could preserve this part of Yia-Yia's life story.  Keftethes are Greek meatballs that can be used instead of traditional meatballs.  Kourambiethes are sweet cookies that are mouthwatering alone or dipped in coffee or tea.   Email jana@agewyz for both recipes after claiming your reward!
0 Supporters
Select this reward
50.00 USD
If I Knew Then...
Is there something you wish your parents had told you or taught you, growing up, that would have been helpful to know later in life? Whether it was how to cook, make small talk, or what the whole love/sex/dating thing was about, share the missing puzzle piece and how it affected you in a recorded message to be aired at the end of the campaign in a special episode of  The Agewyz Podcast. Unload, have fun and be the hero of your own story.  You control the narrative.
7 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD
Rise Up!
Rise up - and meet the challenges ahead!  With so many of us now working from home or home schooling because of Covid-19, the Ocean Riser™ will make working on your laptop or helping your kids with homework fun and soul-satisfying.  This Eco-friendly item from our friends at MemoryBeach is 3D printed with recyclable plant material.  It's a seamless combination of form, function and lightweight portability to give your laptop computer or tablet a beautiful lift - and hopefully your spirits and attention level, too! Slightly smaller than a piece of copy paper, it supports all weights & sizes of books & laptops. Your neck & spine will thank you. Choose your design, "koi" or "waves" ... and your color. 
7 Supporters
Select this reward
150.00 USD
Live To Tell
Scrambling to keep up with the demands of your own life while providing care for a loved one?  Know someone who's doing the heavy lifting for you? Celebrate how fabulous you (or they) are with an Inspirational NotePad and stay supercharged with this Bolt2 Portable Battery and Cell Phone Charger, which charges two devices with one full charge - at the same time.

 

 
9 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
200.00 USD
Making Memories
More and more of us are homebound due to the Coronavirus.  At the end of the day, relax with your loved ones in the back yard, porch or nearest safe outdoor space, open up a beverage and experience the magic of this 2-in-1 Luminaid Max Solar USB Charger, which can power any cell phone fully on one charge - without batteries.
8 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward

Rewards

Monetary Contribution
These are hard times for everyone... especially for entrepreneurs like me who are not on a payroll and trying to keep our doors open by crowdfunding in a crisis.  If you are not into rewards/swag and have the ability to make a financial contribution - $5, $10, $25 or more -  I would be grateful beyond measure for any financial contribution you make.  All donors will be personally thanked and have our undying gratitude.
10 Supporters
Select this reward
25.00 USD
Food for Thought (and Comfort)
Now that we're all spending more time indoors, and in the kitchen, here's a chance to create two authentic Greek recipes passed down from Jana's Yia-Yia (grandmother).  You won't find these on the Internet since they lived in Yia-Yia's head, and she never used measuring cups.  So as a child learning at her apron, Jana gently persuaded Yia-Yia to use measuring cups just once so she could preserve this part of Yia-Yia's life story.  Keftethes are Greek meatballs that can be used instead of traditional meatballs.  Kourambiethes are sweet cookies that are mouthwatering alone or dipped in coffee or tea.   Email jana@agewyz for both recipes after claiming your reward!
0 Supporters
Select this reward
50.00 USD
If I Knew Then...
Is there something you wish your parents had told you or taught you, growing up, that would have been helpful to know later in life? Whether it was how to cook, make small talk, or what the whole love/sex/dating thing was about, share the missing puzzle piece and how it affected you in a recorded message to be aired at the end of the campaign in a special episode of  The Agewyz Podcast. Unload, have fun and be the hero of your own story.  You control the narrative.
7 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD
Rise Up!
Rise up - and meet the challenges ahead!  With so many of us now working from home or home schooling because of Covid-19, the Ocean Riser™ will make working on your laptop or helping your kids with homework fun and soul-satisfying.  This Eco-friendly item from our friends at MemoryBeach is 3D printed with recyclable plant material.  It's a seamless combination of form, function and lightweight portability to give your laptop computer or tablet a beautiful lift - and hopefully your spirits and attention level, too! Slightly smaller than a piece of copy paper, it supports all weights & sizes of books & laptops. Your neck & spine will thank you. Choose your design, "koi" or "waves" ... and your color. 
7 Supporters
Select this reward
150.00 USD
Live To Tell
Scrambling to keep up with the demands of your own life while providing care for a loved one?  Know someone who's doing the heavy lifting for you? Celebrate how fabulous you (or they) are with an Inspirational NotePad and stay supercharged with this Bolt2 Portable Battery and Cell Phone Charger, which charges two devices with one full charge - at the same time.

 

 
9 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
200.00 USD
Making Memories
More and more of us are homebound due to the Coronavirus.  At the end of the day, relax with your loved ones in the back yard, porch or nearest safe outdoor space, open up a beverage and experience the magic of this 2-in-1 Luminaid Max Solar USB Charger, which can power any cell phone fully on one charge - without batteries.
8 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward