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Life Stories for the Ages: The Gift of a Lifetime

We give older adults the opportunity to leave a legacy by telling their life story on video. Capture a story. Connect the generations.

$3,855
pledged of$18,000 goal
30
66
Days Left
Fund it
Project Ends on June 1, 2020

Project Description

Our Mission

The stories of our elders often go untold - and undocumented.  As a result, we lose the opportunity for guidance and perspective, knowing our family history and legacy.  Life Stories for the Ages is on a mission to preserve the rich stories of community elders for the benefit of all generations. 

Photo by Tiago Muraro on Unsplash

 

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.

Especially in older adults.  Some of us may be on the shy side, but human beings are social creatures by nature and as we get older our social circles tend to shrink.  It's not good for our health.

 

Photo by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash
 
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.

 

How It Works

Life Stories for the Ages offers a unique way of leaving a legacy: through storytelling on digital video, technology that lasts for decades.  Combining on camera 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. 

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.  

 

Every generation benefits.  Adult children discover things about their family members that can help them move forward in their own lives.  Younger generations raised with video learn about their family history in a way that's familiar and accessible.  BONUS: watching elders grow animated as they describe the events that shaped their lives promotes a positive view of aging!

Best of all, recording a personal history provides older adults with a stimulating experience that leaves them feeling at peace and with a sense of accomplishment.   Older adults are often talked down to, treated like children or ignored altogether.  Life Stories for the Ages flips that script.  We are eager to hear about and celebrate the life you've led - and continue to lead.  Because elders are our North Star.   

 

Image by katrena from Pixabay

 

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

 

 

One in five residents of Florida is age 65 or older.  We aim to serve South Florida residents age 70 or older who want to share with family members 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. 

Florida is one of the most popular retirement destinations for active adults aged 55 and older.  Our service also caters to baby boomers living in South Florida who may wish to have a video keepsake of their parents or an aging family member.

 

Why am I asking for your help?

The value of a polished, professional video biography is immeasurable.  But producing them is time-consuming, and it can get expensive.  I am raising money in order to pay my small crew a decent wage as we go about creating a handful of short, sample videos to introduce this service to a wider audience and give them a taste of what it looks like.

 

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 nationally syndicated 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.

 

We Can Do This!

THANK YOU so much for your support.   

By helping me, you're helping older adults 

and their family members give the gift of a lifetime.

 

 

The Project FAQs

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

 

 

 

 

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
03/20/2020
Making Memories
$200
Craig Glover
03/19/2020
If I Knew Then...
$50
Susan Stillman
03/17/2020
Live To Tell
$150
Christal Karnaze
03/17/2020
If I Knew Then...
$50
Jason
03/17/2020
Rise Up!
$100
Sue Peschin
03/16/2020
If I Knew Then...
$50
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.
8 Supporters
Select this reward
25.00 USD or more
Shout Out on Social Media
We will sing your praises on the social media platform of your choosing, and be forever grateful for your generosity!
3 Supporters
Select this reward
50.00 USD or more
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
75.00 USD or more
Gratitude 2.0
Next level gratitude: shout out on the social media platform of your choosing... PLUS a personal thank you on an upcoming episode of Jana's nationally syndicated Agewyz Podcast (over 55K listens per month).
3 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD or more
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. 
6 Supporters
Select this reward
150.00 USD or more
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 or more
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
500.00 USD or more
All Ears
Every story matters.  Share your story or that of someone you love during a one-hour recorded phone interview with veteran storyteller Jana Panarites.  Jana has interviewed well-known newspaper columnists, renowned researchers, filmmakers, authors and everyday caregiving warriors.  For this reward, she will ask you specially designed life story  questions, and then edit the recorded content, mix in music & deliver a polished audio keepsake to you on USB flash drive or via email in mp3 file (choose one).
4 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
1,000.00 USD or more
Oh, Pioneers!
As an early supporter, you'll get 30% off our Life Stories for the Ages Basic Video Package, which consists of a professionally crafted, gorgeous visual narrative that is 20-minutes in length and includes up to 20 photos, royalty free music and titles.  Your video will be delivered on one of these platforms: (1) DVD with custom cover and label; (2) Blu-Ray disc with custom cover and label; (3) SD Card; (3) USB flash drive; (3) via Vimeo, (4) Dropbox or (5) a dedicated website (please choose one of these methods).
 
Value: $1,500
1 Left
0 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.
8 Supporters
Select this reward
25.00 USD or more
Shout Out on Social Media
We will sing your praises on the social media platform of your choosing, and be forever grateful for your generosity!
3 Supporters
Select this reward
50.00 USD or more
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
75.00 USD or more
Gratitude 2.0
Next level gratitude: shout out on the social media platform of your choosing... PLUS a personal thank you on an upcoming episode of Jana's nationally syndicated Agewyz Podcast (over 55K listens per month).
3 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD or more
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. 
6 Supporters
Select this reward
150.00 USD or more
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 or more
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
500.00 USD or more
All Ears
Every story matters.  Share your story or that of someone you love during a one-hour recorded phone interview with veteran storyteller Jana Panarites.  Jana has interviewed well-known newspaper columnists, renowned researchers, filmmakers, authors and everyday caregiving warriors.  For this reward, she will ask you specially designed life story  questions, and then edit the recorded content, mix in music & deliver a polished audio keepsake to you on USB flash drive or via email in mp3 file (choose one).
4 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
1,000.00 USD or more
Oh, Pioneers!
As an early supporter, you'll get 30% off our Life Stories for the Ages Basic Video Package, which consists of a professionally crafted, gorgeous visual narrative that is 20-minutes in length and includes up to 20 photos, royalty free music and titles.  Your video will be delivered on one of these platforms: (1) DVD with custom cover and label; (2) Blu-Ray disc with custom cover and label; (3) SD Card; (3) USB flash drive; (3) via Vimeo, (4) Dropbox or (5) a dedicated website (please choose one of these methods).
 
Value: $1,500
1 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward