This is Ray Williams, a student from Eastern Michigan University. For the last two years, he has been teaching computer skills to seniors in his spare time.
Williams told BuzzFeed he believes there is a need to teach older people how to use computers and the internet, and that it can "improve their health."
"Most of these people are somewhat neglected and really just want somebody to talk to. The internet can provide them with new information about a topic that they love and stay connected with their friends and family members."
He added that he teaches one-on-one computer lessons, as well as group lessons where he will lecture about things that include Google and Google search, social media, online dating, and phishing scams.
His hard work with the elderly hasn't gone unnoticed. He touched the heart of one of his senior students so much that she wrote him the following letter:
The thank-you letter – typed up using the word processing skills he had taught her – reads:
Thank you with all my heart (and more, if possible) for the wonderful gift of music you have given me. (Obviously I haven't quite mastered the intricacies of Word yet.)
I spent all last night searching YouTube and "subscribing" to stuff I hadn't heard in years, except in my mind. (as well as some comedy routines that never fail to crack me up).
Again, with all my heart (I could use one of those emoji's right now!),
P.S. And I even get to WATCH them!! How could I ask for more!?!
P.P.S And there are several versions of many of them – be still my heart!!
Williams was given the note by a senior he taught called Hilli. He said she was incredibly excited to show him the letter.
"She asked me to print it out (which I did) and I went to grab it from the printer and started reading," he told BuzzFeed. "When I sat back down, she explained to me how much of a big help I have been to her and that I opened up an entire new world for her."
Williams explained that he had helped her use YouTube, a site that she now loves and uses regularly.
"She normally plays music on YouTube during her lesson. It makes me feel good that I can show somebody something that most of us may take for granted."
He said that the reaction to the letter has been "nothing short of amazing."
"I had no idea that it could touch so many people," he said. "I have been bombarded with messages telling me how amazing I am for working with seniors, and asking for information on how they can get involved with helping seniors at their local senior centre and retirement homes."
Williams said a problem he faced in teaching was that most seniors don't have a computer or electronic devices, and are often unable to afford them.
As a result, Williams is crowdfunding a campaign to help him purchase a set of Chromebooks or tablets to continue working with seniors who don't have access to the technology.
"There is an entire world out there that they don't know about that could improve their health," he told BuzzFeed. "There is always someone on the web who would love to hear their stories from when they were growing up as a kid!"
Rossalyn Warren is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Rossalyn Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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