Ministry of Presence
When I tell people that I work for StoryCorps, many people mention a parent or grandparent they wish they had interviewed before they passed, which is one of the many reasons we are so excited that we’re partnering with Ruth and Naomi Senior Outreach in Birmingham, AL.
Chaplains Mary McQueen Porter and Lynn Bledsoe visit isolated elders to sing, play harp, and provide human and canine companionship. In their own way, they exemplify the StoryCorps motto, “listening as an act of love.”
Mary and Lynn are now incorporating StoryCorps interviews into their senior outreach visits. To date, they have recorded over a dozen interviews with elders using a StoryKit.
StoryKits are portable packages that include professional recording equipment and a User’s Guide to record interviews in the comfort of your own home. Individuals can rent a StoryKit for a week and we also loan StoryKits to community organizations to do their own recordings.
In February, they interviewed New Beacon Hospice patient, Mildred Oyston, and her son Bill. 90-year-old Mildred talked about serving her country during World War II as a riveter on a B-17 Bomber.
Six weeks after the interview, Mildred passed away. The family said it meant a lot to them to have the recording to share as they remembered, celebrated, and mourned.
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