Frequently asked questions

What type of person can become an author?

We offer our services to anyone who is interested in participating! However, our ideal age range for an author is over the age of 65 years. For the safety of the author, they must demonstrate mental capacity, meaning he/she can make his/her own decisions. This excludes those who suffer from severe dementia or other significant health problems that affect cognitive function.

We're currently able to host one-on-one sessions with authors only in the Bay Area of California. If you're interested in becoming a volunteer in your hometown, please reach out to brittany@mylifemystories.org. We'd love to be able to offer our services to seniors across the country.

Given the skills of our current volunteers, we're also only able to offer the story-telling opportunity to fluent English speakers. If you are interested in volunteering and speak another language, please reach out to us!


Can you tell me more about the story-sharing process?

Throughout the story-sharing journey, our dedicated volunteers spend dozens of hours with authors in a one-on-one private setting over the course of several months. Any volunteer with direct contact to seniors will undergo a background check. Volunteers will always travel to the home or nursing facility of the author and they will establish a schedule that is convenient for both participants.

Volunteers are provided a short list of introductory questions to use for the first few one-on-one sessions. This process encourages the author to open up and discuss lighthearted and positive topics before sharing intimate and sometimes, emotional, memories.

After a few informal meetings, the recording sessions begin. Authors can share whatever they please, although our volunteers must adhere to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations at all times. Read more about patient rights here. From there, volunteers transcribe the stories and create five bound books using the online service, Blurb, and are given to the authors to share or distribute to their friends and family as desired. There is no cost to seniors for participating and if at any time, the author wishes to discontinue the process, they are absolutely free to do so.


How can I get involved?

At My Life, My Stories, we set high goals for ourselves, and we can't get there without your help! Here are a few ways you can get involved today:

  • Interviewing or transcribing volunteers: We want to offer our in-person one-on-one services to as many seniors in the country as possible, and this depends on the location of our volunteers. Volunteers can choose to interview authors or simply assist in the transcribing process. All volunteers will receive training to provide authors the best and most comfortable experience.
  • Multi-lingual volunteers: One of the best parts about our country is that it's home to diverse individuals from around the world. Those who have traveled across the globe for a chance at achieving the American Dream have some of the most interesting stories to share and we'd like to preserve their history. If you are fluent in another language and have a few hours to dedicate each week, please consider becoming a volunteer.
  • Videographer volunteers: Eventually, we'd like to offer video recordings to supplement the printed books. Videos offer a more personal connection to the author and can be digitally stored and easily shared for future generations.
  • Financial supporters: Donate to our cause! We use donations to create printed books for our authors. High-quality professional recorders for our volunteers are also on our wish list. Please consider contributing any amount by finding the Support Us Today button at the bottom of this page.

Don't see what you're looking for on this list? Let's collaborate. Please reach out to brittany@mylifemystories.org.