Connecting Older Adults in Boston this Holiday Season

John Emra, President, AT&T Atlantic Region
December 19, 2022
Broadband Access and Affordability, Community Impact

Connecting Older Adults in Boston this Holiday Season

Many haven’t spoken to family members for years, but on Friday, December 16, more than a hundred of Boston’s older adults visited Boston City Hall to call family and friends, anywhere in the world free of charge.

The 2022 event was the 25th annual Holiday Connections, a longstanding collaboration between AT&T and Boston’s AgeStrong Commission. In years past, more than 1,400 calls were made to more than 40 countries including Haiti, Cuba, China, Albania, France and others.

In addition to the free phone banks, specially trained AT&T volunteers presented CyberAware workshops about scam/fraud prevention, cyber-safety and general technology training. They also provided guests one-on-one help with their phones, tablets and other connected technology. All presentations were done in both English and Spanish, and interpreters were on hand to assist guests in several other languages.

The event was attended by AgeStrong Commissioner Emily Shea, who helped introduce the CyberAware workshop. City of Boston representatives were also on-hand to discuss the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program with attendees.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, this event has not been held since 2019. In lieu of the Holiday Connections event during the past two years, AT&T worked with and contributed to the organization Tech Goes Home to safely provide technology training and devices to older adult residents in Boston.

We’re happy to once again help Boston’s older adults stay connected with their friends and families living overseas this holiday season. We are grateful to Mayor Wu and the City of Boston, Commissioner Shea and AgeStrong for their collaboration and desire to resume and grow this longstanding holiday event.

Connected devices allow older adults freedom, convenience, and communication, and it is important that they have the resources to enjoy the digital world safely and securely. We hope this event provided the warmth of connection with loved ones, the confidence to harness the power of technology, and a lot of holiday joy.