After writing a best-seller, having a hit record or being celebrated for a great rookie season in sports there is always the concern about the ‘sophomore slump’. No matter what you do, you are not able to maintain the initial success.
After last year’s triumph of the Show A Little Heart video competition it was difficult not to approach 2019 with a degree of nervousness about reaching the heights achieved in our inaugural competition.
Thankfully, our worries proved to be unwarranted as we again found ourselves having to judge some inspiring videos.
The competition was set up by Heart to Home Meals to highlight the bond between generations. We wanted to hear from students about the impact a senior had on their formative years as they moved into adulthood.
We hoped the stories would be an inspiration to others and generate discussions about the subject.
When the judges met last month, they were soon able to agree on the best three videos, but for a long time there was no consensus on the order. Each video had their merits and the debate was passionate and informative. As we reached the self-imposed deadline the order of the top three was finally agreed.
First prize was awarded to Jaiden Pugar who told us about his grandmother who came to Canada from
Croatia in the late 1960s. She brought with her the recipe for a traditional cookie (Vanillekipferl) taught to her more than sixty years ago. Her approach to making the delicate biscuit is similar to how she brought up her children and grandchildren. The video captures the bond between
Jaiden and Vera illustrating how some life lessons can be learned while observing the simple art of making cookies.
To see U Cookies, click here
The second prize went to Meagan Veneracion. Her story was prompted by a chance meeting at an assisted living home when she was visiting her aunt who works there. During the visit she met Howard Ross. He is a 67-year-old man who was born with cerebral palsy.
Meagan was planning to produce a documentary about seniors living in homes but it evolved into a snapshot of relationships and responsibility. She discovered how important it is to treasure the moments you have with people you care about and how to avoid becoming overcome with sadness when they pass away. “Howard has inspired me to see there is more to life as you grow older. Every time I visit, he always reminds me about how much he enjoys it there. It inspires me to look at aging differently and wonder what new things I’ll enjoy and learn when I’m older,” said Meagan.
To see Howard, click here
For the first time ever, one of the top three videos was an animation. The story seems more suited to a Hollywood script but is, in fact, a true classic Canadian story. It begins 24 years ago, when woman involved in international development comes across recently born twins in a Cambodian orphanage. She adopts the twins and brings them up even though she’s a single mom and in her forties. The children have opportunities in this country that would have been impossible if they had remained in Cambodia. The film, Ode to my Mother by George Turnbull is a homage to everything he and his sister learned and were given by their Mom.
To see Ode to my Mother, click here
Three different stories that examined the question, how can a young person benefit from the influence of an older person?
For Heart to Home Meals this video competition gives us an opportunity to celebrate the importance of seniors. Too often, their influence on younger generations fails to get the recognition it deserves. We hope this competition does more than put a spotlight on the winners, it is a reminder that eventually we all become seniors, and when we get there, sharing our experiences is the best gift we can offer to those starting on their journey of life.
The remaining videos can be found within our Show a Little Heart playlist, attached here:
Many Thanks to this year’s judges:
Dipika Damerla: Mississauga City Councillor; former Minister of Seniors Affairs (Ontario)
Sue Hesjedahl: Executive Director, Older Adult Centres’ Association of Ontario (OACAO)
Elizabeth Macnab: Executive Director, Ontario Society of Senior Citizens’ Organizations (OSSCO).
Vicky Sparks: Film Critic
Laura Watts: Chief Public Policy Officer, CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons)