This past May, I was invited to a retirement community. At the retirement community I visited, the residents were extremely receptive, to the point that this could almost have some therapeutic benefits as well. The staff told me afterwards that there were two individuals at the presentation who were normally quite reclusive. Though it took some coaxing, they agreed to come. It turns out that, as I was passing the fossils around to the group, both of the women became very engaged and active in the conversations. The staff was really impressed by what they saw. I was told that it was such a unique and different form of entertainment to what the residents are used to that it really took the staff by surprise (in regards to the residents' positive reactions).
Word has spread, and more retirement communities are requesting that I give them a visit.
I always ask for a donation of some kind. I don't pay myself, but instead I use the money to cover any traveling costs (a dollar or two in gas), and the rest goes towards increasing the fossil collection. Budgets are extremely tight at some of these communities, and they have told me they can't afford to pay anything because they have no money left in their entertainment funds.
Funded by Chicago, IL (September 2012)