Some rules and advice
When the other person picks up, tell them your first name, your age (or that you're a high school student), and that you're a volunteer with Phone Pals. Ask if this is a good time. Finally, be sure to thank them for taking the time to talk.
The people you call should all know that they've been signed up. But they may have forgotten, so be prepared to explain why you're calling.
In some cases, you'll be connected to an assisted living home's switchboard first. Tell them that you're with Phone Pals and the name of the person you're calling, and they'll put you through. Then introduce yourself as normal.
Start a conversation.
Feel free to converse naturally, making sure you speak slowly and clearly. Here are some ideas for starting a conversation:
- Ask about their childhood: their parents and siblings, where they grew up, the schools they went to, childhood friends, favorite books, etc.
- Ask about their career. Why did they choose the career they did?
- Ask about their life. Did they ever get married? Travel? Serve in the military? Have kids?
- Ask if they have any advice for young people like you.
A few rules.
For your safety and the safety of the seniors, we ask that you follow a few rules:
- Don't give or receive money or gifts.
- Don't make plans to meet in person.
- Don't share any contact information, such as phone numbers or addresess.
- Don't communicate outside of Phone Pals.