Nathan Shapiro, a resident of Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging, plays Scrabble with youth leadership program volunteers. They are, from left, Suzanne Langlais, Breanna Bregman, Rachel Bransky and Katie Christopher. "He is our local Scrabble phenom," Lori Riegel, religious and cultural education coordinator at Handmaker, says of Shapiro.


Handmaker Youth Leadership Team will hold a winter volunteer event starting at 2 p.m. Jan. 13 at Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging, 2221 N. Rosemont Blvd.

The volunteer program is for youth ages 11-18. Youth volunteers interact with Handmaker residents at quarterly group events.

The program, which began in May, combines hands-on community service with leadership training. Youth volunteers build relationships with seniors while learning how to plan programs and set goals. Programming is based on input from youth participants and Handmaker residents.

The winter program will include teaching residents how to set up an email account, cooking and playing board games.

Participants are also working on a legacy project, in which they interview residents to learn their life lessons and wisdom. The interviews will be collected in a keepsake book for families.

Annual membership for the Handmaker Youth Leadership Team is $36, which includes all group events and a celebration and T-shirt upon completion of the program.

For more information, or to RSVP for the January event, 322-7006 or email

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