The Hand-Me-Down Project: Passing Generational Knowledge

What is the Hand-Me-Down Project?

The Hand-Me-Down project is a new initiative led by Milton Public Library for the purpose of cataloguing and disseminating the knowledge of seniors in our community, with a focus on intergenerational relationships between seniors and youth.

Our Goal

Share generational knowledge with the next generation, focusing on areas including tradeskills, crafting and culinary expertise, while supporting skills-building as well as intergenerational dialogue and cultural exchange.

Program Focus Areas and Objectives

  • Skills-building, repair and Sustainability
  • Re-engaging community members with practical, tactical experiences
  • Bringing generations of community members together, reducing social isolation
  • Promote volunteerism among seniors and other generations
  • Engage seniors in the community through mentoring others
  • Support the social participation and inclusion of seniors
  • Provide capital assistance for new and existing community projects and programs for seniors

Examples of Hand-Me-Downs

Older man repairs a bike

Tinkering and Small Repairs

Developing a tinkering program where seniors would support youth in small repairs, which could include appliances, small engine repair, bike maintenance

Older man and young woman looking into the hood of a car, smiling

Automotive Repair

The development of automotive repair program in which seniors teach youth the basics of car maintenance and upkeep

Older woman and young woman knitting together, smiling.


Developing a crafting seminar or series of seminars which could focus on sewing or tailoring of clothing, but could also include traditional skills such as beadwork or quilting, preserving and passing on knowledge of more traditional skills to future generations

Culinary Skills

Culinary workshops, where seniors lead cooking and baking seminars, focusing on family recipes and skills passed down through generations and showcasing varied backgrounds and cultures

Our Timeline

Phase 1: Connecting with Seniors and Youth (May-August 2022)

Connect with local partners to identify diverse seniors in Milton to establish a cohort of participants. Work together to develop programs, lesson plans. Identify materials, resources, space required.

Phase 2: Connect with Youth and Teach Skills (September 2022-March 2023)

Identify youth to participate in the project, and match them with seniors and their skills. Start Hand-Me-Down classes! MPL staff offer support when needed for all programs.

Phase 3: Wrap-up (April 2023)

Gathering all participants to celebrate the end of the program, share their experiences, plan for the future, and share our documentation with future youth