Add another layer to your #Business literacy. We at Serebral360° would love to know if the Forbes – Entrepreneurs article was helpful, leave a comment, like and share. Let’s dive in and discuss the information and put it to use to grow your business. #BusinessStrategy #ContentMarketing #WebDevelopment #BrandStrategy
Info@serebral360.com 762.333.1807 www.serebral360.com
Grap a copy of our NEW Business Stratgety Books #FFSS VOL1 and #FFSS VOL2
When a health crisis strikes your family, you tend to grow up quickly. It’s a story Webb Weiman knows too well: he lost his mother and brother to cancer and his father to Parkinson’s and heart disease. In moments of grief, how we respond often determines the imprint it leaves on the rest of our lives — do we sink or do we swim?
Webb’s first loss came when he was 25 and his mother passed away after a ten-year battle with cancer. Webb was living away from home, and he would visit his family and find his father sitting in a rocking chair in a darkened bedroom, rocking back and forth for days on end. His two sisters were deep in mourning, and both of his brothers were living away from home, too. Webb was overwhelmed to see his usually lively, adventurous father slipping into isolation and depression.
“When I dropped by every afternoon to check on him, the room would be pitch black. I remember thinking, this is no life for anyone, let alone my father,” says Webb. “After he expressed to me that he had no reason to live, I finally decided to do what any good son in my situation would do — I stole my mother’s phone book from my sisters and got my father a date.”
Slowly but surely, his father gathered enough courage to go on his first date and one of those dates eventually led to marriage. The relationship reinvigorated his father and opened the door for decades of fulfilling experiences he would have otherwise missed, like witnessing six grandchildren being brought into the world. He had given his father a new lease on life, and it gave Webb a new awareness of the isolation so many seniors face as life changes around them.
“I knew there had to be life beyond the rocking chair, all I had to do was to show him,” says Webb. “I’ve kept that philosophy with me, because it’s not just rocking chairs — it’s that feeling of being shut off to the world with no family or friends that come to visit. There are seniors everywhere that deserve to fulfill their dreams and lead incredible lives.”
Today, Webb is the Executive Director of Jump!, a nonprofit he started that helps seniors achieve what’s left on their bucket list. Jump! focuses on assisting low-income seniors living in isolation, and they partner with senior living communities across the country to spread the message. Inspired in part by his father’s story, Webb set out to not only assist seniors in fulfilling their dreams, but also to share their stories with those who might believe it’s too late to achieve incredible things.
“My mother jogged six miles a day while fighting cancer and my father continued to play golf and tennis while battling Parkinson’s and heart disease,” says Webb. “The organization is built on that inspiration and sharing it with other seniors, especially those living without children, grandchildren, or family to help out.”
Despite Webb’s early awareness of the challenges facing seniors, it took him losing his father in 2010 to realize what his dream in life really was. Before he established Jump!, he’d already built a hugely successful career as a television Producer, working on such Emmy award-winning shows as Project Runway and Top Chef, and even winning the coveted Peabody award in 2007. But all the while, he’d been taking care of his family members in need, and now their absence left him with a void. Webb had always been the “utility guy” in the family: he drove his mother to chemotherapy and radiation treatments, he slept alongside his father in the hospital. Now, after 24 successful years in Hollywood, Webb looked around and wondered how he would pick up the pieces.
“I knew I still had a lot of living left to do,” says Webb. “I was celebrating 50 while retiring from an industry I loved. At the same time, I felt compelled to carry on my family’s legacy and share the kinds of experiences we had together with other seniors. I wanted to step in and recreate some of that magic in the lives of others.”
It all fell into place when Webb happened to meet Estelle Eisenberg at a luncheon in 2011. Estelle was about to turn 90 and told Webb that she wanted to celebrate this landmark birthday by going skydiving. When Estelle told him she had no one to take her to fulfill the dream, Webb knew what he had to do.
“I told Estelle that I’d like to be the person to help her with her bucket list,” says Webb. “Everyone has a different motivation behind their dream — Estelle had recently lost her husband and wanted to feel closer to him. She wanted to show him that even though he was gone, she was okay. All of it felt meant to be.”
In July of 2011, Estelle celebrated her 90th birthday by skydiving at Nichols Field in San Diego, and Jump! was born. While most senior living communities offer some form of recreation, like arts and crafts or dance classes, Jump! takes it to the next level. After Estelle, Jump! started facilitating opportunities for other seniors to check items off their bucket lists. Webb and his team returned to Estelle’s senior living community to do their first-ever presentation and showed a video (they call them Jumpisodes) of Estelle’s experience. It didn’t take long for another senior to sign up to fulfill her own dream.
“After our presentation, a petite woman named Edna Baldwin approached us and said that her 92nd birthday was coming up,” says Webb. “Two weeks before her birthday, we got her behind the wheel of a 550 horsepower Nascar-sanctioned race car at the Toyota speedway and she completed 11 laps at an average speed of 86 mph. What was really amazing is that she needed not one, not two, but three pillows to actually see over the dash.”
More recently, Jump! completed one of its most emotional bucket list wishes to date. They took a Vietnam War veteran and a World War II veteran to Washington D.C. to visit the war memorials with their wives. Leading up to it, the Vietnam veteran almost called the trip off on two separate occasions. “He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,” says Webb. “He was a POW, the last survivor of his platoon, and decorated with two Purple Hearts. He had an overwhelming fear of going back, but we got him there. It gave him closure he never thought possible.”
Today, Jump! has fulfilled over 40 individual and group wishes while visiting 21 states and 138 senior living communities. They’re working hard to reach more seniors and eventually, fulfill wishes in every state. A new partnership with Sun Communities Inc., an operator of retirement manufactured housing communities, has enabled residents across the country to check something off their bucket list. Webb’s work is a lesson in learning to sink or swim, no matter your age. The idea of a second lease on life applies to all of us, not just seniors — whether it’s taking time to write a letter to an old friend or the obligation we hold as sons and daughters to do more for our parents as they age. For Webb, it’s what fuels him and keeps him waking up every day to go out and help fulfill a dream.
“It’s the moment they land from skydiving; it’s the moment they step out of the race car or the 18-wheeler or even the Goodyear Blimp,” says Webb. “Our non-profit is made up of many moments — to see the passion in their eyes and feel the gratitude in their hearts, those are the moments that I have taken with me since my mom and dad and brother were alive to the moment we’re in right now. It’s a passion project.”
December 16, 2018 at 10:57AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs