Club Spotlight: Dreaming of Sunshine

Dreamcatchers Club lends a helping hand to seniors


Dreamcatchers Club

Senior citizens at retirement community Oakmont of Chino Hills teach members of the Ayala Dreamcatchers Club to play Rummikub. The Dreamcatchers Club, started by Lillian Wu (11), gives students a chance to connect with hopsice patients and seniors in the community.

Elisabeth Lee, Staff Writer

When was the last time you lent a helping hand to a senior citizen, or brought them a handmade gift to brighten their day? Many are unaware of the many elderly individuals that reside within the local community and the smiles evoked through small, yet impactful gestures. Through the Dreamcatchers club, members have the opportunity to do just that through simple acts of kindness and large expressions of servitude. 

The Dreamcatchers club was originally established by its current president, Lillian Wu (11) on August 8, 2022. After Wu’s friend described her personal experience interacting with senior citizens at her Dreamcatcher Club at Walnut High School, Wu decided to start her own Dreamcatchers club with the hope of caring for hospice patients.

The generational gap is one that is ever growing, so with this club, I hope that a few students will take time out of their day to interact with the elderly. With many occurrences of senior neglect, even a small dose of care, love, and interest can instantly improve their day,” Wu said.

Meetings are held on the first and third Monday of each month during lunch in room F118. The adviser, math teacher Christina Kim, guides twenty-five members and a diverse officer and cabinet team.

Officers of the 2022-2023 school year include: President and founder Lillian Wu (11), Vice President Iris Liu (11), Secretary Junhee Kim (11), Treasurer Anmary Bautista (11), UCC Representative Sean Chiu (11), Event Coordinators Ally Foo (11) and Aiden Shaw (10), Communications Director Allie Chiu (11), and Public Relations Director Chloe Wang (11). The Cabinet contains Lukas Cao (11), Jonathan Pappas (11), Andrew Liang (11), Hannah Gu (11), Angelina Zhao (11), and Jessie Zeng (10). 

The Dreamcatchers club aims to help others by fulfilling the dreams of local hospice patients who are nearing the end of their life and empowering students to create connections with the aging population. The club lets students assist senior hospice patients in the community by making handmade keepsakes such as origami and handwritten letters, while allowing them to physically interact with the elderly. These opportunities provide both a fun environment for the seniors and allow the members to develop amicable relationships with people in the community.

When we went to Oakmont of Chino Hills Senior Center, we learned games and talked with senior citizens. It was an amazing, happy environment contrasting to the exaggerated  melancholic and depressing environment that is joked about or displayed on television,” Jonathan Pappas (11), a member of the Dreamcatcher’s cabinet, said. 

Concerning events and contributions to the community, the Dreamcatchers club has benefited the local seniors in multiple ways. Experiences such as the events held at Oakmont of Chino Hills on different occasions allowed the members to play games, make origami creations, and put together Valentine’s Day cards which brought smiles to the faces of their recipients. Over the course of the club’s contributions they have made over two hundred handmade creations for the elderly. 

When we went to Oakmont of Chino Hills Senior Center, we learned games and talked with senior citizens. It was an amazing, happy environment contrasting to the exaggerated melancholic and depressing environment that is joked about or displayed on television.

— Jonathan Pappas (11)

The memorable thing for me was preparing for our volunteering event that took place over the winter break. [It was] a good way to earn volunteer hours on [my]  own time by doing small tasks, like folding cranes or writing cards,” event coordinator Aiden Shaw (10) said. 

Through Dreamcatchers, members have the chance to learn important skills and lessons in communication and developing relationships with the older community. Some of the many lessons included communication, new insights on the elderly, and important experiences in life. 

 “A lot of what we do is to communicate and interact with the seniors in our community. They tell us stories of when they were younger, and how different things were back then. We get a glimpse of what their lives were like in the past, and through this, we learn more about their experiences,” said Wu. 

The club also provides a welcoming environment for students of any grade with intentions to make a positive difference.

Allie Chiu (11), the Communication Director, described her initial motives for joining Dreamcatchers. 

“I wanted to give back to the elderly community and the experience of helping out. I’ve never been a part of a club like this, so I thought it would be a good way to get exposed to a new environment. This club works as a bridge between us students and the seniors in our community, so I really hope that more people will join not only for the experience but also to create a stronger connection between the youth and elderly,” said Chiu. 

Dreamcatchers club provides the chance to emphasize the positive aspects of assisting and interacting with the senior population. In the near future, Wu hopes for the club to serve at other senior and hospice centers to show kindness towards the older generation. She also strives to publicize the club and gain more members in the coming years in order to teach students the vitality of engaging with the elderly.  

With the many chances to give to hospice patients and elderly through generosity and servitude, Dreamcatchers makes light of these opportunities and brings true smiles to the faces of many.