Elder Wisdom Circle

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The Elder Wisdom Circle (EWC) is a nonprofit organization that provides free and confidential advice on a broad range of topics. The EWC also publishes an advice column, in both a Web version and a syndicated print version that is carried in 25 publications.

The Elder Wisdom Circle is targeted towards young people looking for advice from a “cyber-grandparent”. Online advice seekers from all over the world are paired with a network of volunteer seniors (aged 60 to 105) who share their knowledge, insight, and wisdom. Most seeking advice are 15–40 years old, but people of any age can request advice on virtually any topic and will receive a free and personalized e-mail response.

How it Works[edit]

After submitting a request for advice through the EWC web site, a personal reply arrives via e-mail, usually within a few days. Advice is provided on a wide range of issues, such as love and relationships, family and child-rearing, career and self-improvement, and cooking and home care. The service is confidential and advice-seekers are assured anonymity and privacy. If a letter is selected for publication, any references to identifying information are removed; advice seekers may also request that their letter not be published.


The Elder Wisdom Circle was founded in 2001 by Doug Meckelson. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, the EWC is all-volunteer run and advice is provided at no cost. Since its inception, the EWC has continued to gain in popularity and now has more than 600 advice-giving volunteers. The EWC ranks #1 in e-mail advice in the Yahoo[1] directory, and the Center for Civic Partnerships ranked the EWC one of the four most innovative inter-generational activities.[2]

Elder Wisdom Circle Book
Author Doug Meckelson and Diane Haithman
Country USA
Language English
Genre Self-help, personal development
Publisher Penguin Group
Publication date
November 2007
Media type Trade Paperback
Pages 280
ISBN 978-0-452-28881-2
OCLC 81944451
305.2 22
LC Class HM726 .M43 2007

Book: "The Elder Wisdom Circle Guide for a Meaningful Life"[edit]

In the book "The Elder Wisdom Circle Guide for a Meaningful Life" by Doug Meckelson and Diane Haithman, 60 individual Elders and nine Elder groups from across North America tackle some of the most compelling questions that have come to the Elder Wisdom Circle.

The book provides a forum for multiple responses and creates a dialogue between Elders, who apply their experience and knowledge to the following topics: Overcoming life's obstacles; parent-child relationships; sibling rivalry; self-discovery; lasting love; decision-making; career; aging; and loss. In the final chapter, the Elders offer their secrets for living life the wise way.

Reviews and Review Excerpts[edit]

  • Amazon
  • Barnes & Noble
  • "Meckelson...and Los Angeles Times staff writer Haithman took the most universal and provocative questions and answers from the popular web site www.elderwisdomcircle.org and arranged them by life's major phases...With its distinctive format for self-help queries, this should prove interesting to patrons of all ages. Highly recommended." – Library Journal Reviews
  • "Anyone looking for empathy and practical strategies for overcoming difficulties from those who have been there will profit from this light-hearted guide and be inspired to visit the Web site, elderwisdomcircle.org." – Publishers Weekly

Quotes about the Elder Wisdom Circle[edit]

  • "It is heartening to know that when young people seek sage advice these days, many are turning to the Elder Wisdom Circle. I continue to be impressed by the candor and insight of these Elders." - Walter Cronkite
  • "Everyone needs a little advice sometimes and the Elder Wisdom Circle's honest, inspirational guidance is just the ticket when you aren't sure of your next step." - Marci Shimoff, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul and featured teacher in The Secret (2006 film)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]