LifeChronicles

Rating: 4.95 stars   44 reviews

Issues:

Location: 113 W. Mission St. Santa Barbara CA 93101 USA

Mission: The services that LifeChronicles provides were inspired by an experience of our founder, Kate Carter. A recently widowed friend of Kate’s was diagnosed with cancer and told she had a short time to live. Kate was concerned that her friend’s three children would lose the memories of their father and mother. This concern inspired Kate to speak to her friend about making a video to deliver messages of love, sharing her stories and passing on advice for the future. Although Kate’s friend passed before they had a chance to tape her, from this experience LifeChronicles was born. Through videotaping individuals and families across the country, LifeChronicles strives to preserve the memory and essence of individuals, to tell the stories that could have gone untold and to solidify the bonds between people. With the help of our youth volunteers, LifeChronicles has served over 500 families and has found a need for our video-recordings in a variety of similar situations.
Target demographics: families heal and connect
Programs: by videotaping an elderly family member or a seriously ill loved one.
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Although it's been a little over a year since I've volunteered my time, I miss working at LifeChronicles very much. I think about the founder, Kate Carter, and the organization all the time, and how much it's impacted me over the course of time I got to be there, and continues today. I really admire her work, and the work that gets done there everyday! I am so grateful for the time I got to be there, and all the hours i put in. Kate Carter and LifeChronicles truly carry a big spot in my heart. I hope to be able to go back soon and put in some more time. All the best!! Xoxo

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally experience the results of this organization in my life everyday. Everyday whether it's putting my time aside to help somebody else, or going out of my way to hold a door open for someone, it's the qualities of compassion and kindness that is instilled throughout the whole LifeChronicles experience that engraves great qualities in my life everyday.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing. It's Remarkable as is!

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Rating: 5 stars  

Parkinson's is slowly taking my father's voice and physical abilities. This summer, while Daddy still had the cognitive and physical ability to speak and share stories, Life Chronicles filmed him and my mom. Without knowing it, my mom and dad shared their legacy. We (their children and grandchildren) were able to recall on camera important moments, and laugh and cry with them. Kate expertly guided us through the experience. My mom and dad are now reviewing their raw footage and collecting photos and music to add to the video. My mom tells me it is THE greatest gift that she and my dad can leave us. We all agree.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Visiting my parents last winter (they live 3000 miles away) I could see how frail my parents had become and what a toll my dad's Parkinson's and the stress of 24/7 caregiving was taking on my parents. I knew I had to do Life Chronicles with them. I am so happy that their voice will live for generations to come.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find a way to clone Kate so that more and more people who have ailing loved ones can share their legacy. I'd let every hospice and nursing home in the country know about Life Chronicles. I'd make sure religious organizations spread the word. And I would find a way to feature Kate's work on Oprah's network.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

Through another for profit organization

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

To be an advocate for Life Chronicles everywhere I can

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

As I prepared to enter the hospital for a bone marrow transplant to treat my aggressive leukemia, I wanted to tackle an ambitious but important task, a video for my two small children to remember me by. I wanted to pass on advice, information, values, and my hopes and dreams—15 years of parenting wrapped up in a 15 minute DVD. Two days before I started treatment again, I had 7 pages of notes and no video. My social worker suggested LifeChronicles. I was impressed and moved by the website, a video like this was exactly what I needed; it seemed impossible in a short timeframe but I crossed my fingers and requested a taping. The next morning I got a call at 8:00 am from company founder Kate Carter, asking if I could tape at 9:30 am. She was coincidentally just finishing a shoot in the Bay Area and kindly squeezed me in before she had to leave San Jose, and later, she even called to postpone her afternoon meeting (that was 300 miles away) because she felt this was more important. I didn’t need to do any preparation except pick an outfit to wear. The shoot was easy, she guided me through some b-roll of me playing with the children; later she interviewed me and I addressed some of the things I wanted to say from my notes. Kate made me comfortable in front of the camera so my children could see my sense of humor and my personality shine through, and the way we interacted while I read them a story might help stimulate some fading memories of my smell or touch. The whole experience was so rewarding because LifeChronicles will produce an amazing video that will protect my legacy of love for my children with a DVD of images, words, music, and video of their mother being a mother. And whether I live or die, my kids will get to see me as I am now, before the treatment withers me away, and before they stop believing in the unfailing, eternal love of their mother. This gift I leave for my family was only made possible by Kate and LifeChronicles, whose dedication and commitment will not only help provide a structure of memories for my children in a way that will be always treasured, but also allows me to go into treatment knowing that a little piece of me will always come back.
Rachel Peres
San Jose, Calif.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping me feel good that all of my affairs are in order. I just had a bone marrow transplant. When Kate Carter made this video happen on such short notice, it helped me to focus on my treatment. A huge weight had been lifted from me.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have an angel investor give them a 100 million dollars. They are am amazing group of people, their dedication to making these videos not only helped me be able to go into treatment feeling like I had gotten my affairs in order, and my kids and husband will certainly appreciate this video at some point.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

my social worker suggested it

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

They created a video for my family that helped me understand the things that are important to me.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 3 stars  

My experience with the LifeChronicles people was excellent. They are very professional and dedicated to their craft. Great follow-thru! Very good to work with! I speak from experience as Chairman and CEO (ret.) of one of the country's oldest and best known company's. I dealt with professionals who were in charge of our print and t.v. advertising.

J. J. Harvey

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Santa Barbara, CA

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No changes

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Rating: 5 stars  

Life Chronicles videoed my life partner, Daphne, one year before she died of cancer. Daphne had Alzheimer's, and we assumed that that would be the disease that impaired her ability to speak in the future about her life. Life Chronicles provided us with a cogent and comprehensive overview of a brilliant and talented artist who was able to leave an invaluable legacy for her children, grandchildren, and for me. Kate Carter was sensitive and knowledgeable in her interviewing, and her high-school-aged videographers were extremely insightful in creating a visual record of Daphne's spoken words and a comprehensive visual array of her artwork. I treasure this unique and captivating video.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

It is a bittersweet experience on the anniversary of my partner's death to view the wonderful video of her life provided by Life Chronicles. This video captures the significant highlights of Daphne's life and provides me with a memento that I can view at any time.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't change a thing about Life Chronicles. I feel as though they are doing an outstanding job and that they have an admirable track record.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have had the pleasure of serving as an advisor to Life Chronicles since it was founded by Kate Carter. Life Chronicles is a unique organization that has provided comfort and support to countless families over the last several years and continues to do so with the help of caring staff and volunteers of the highest integrity.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Observing the satisfaction and gratitude of clients who have been served.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

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Rating: 5 stars  

When Life Chronicles created the wonderful video they did of my mother, I thought that the main intent was for we kids and her friends to enjoy it. Little did I know that mom would have a ball working with their skilled staff to record her life story so creatively. She watched the tape many times afterwards whether showing it to someone or on her own. It was a great experience for her, and now that she is gone, we can still enjoy seeing and hearing her telling her story in that inimitable way she had.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Life Chronicles created a professional quality video of my mother when she was in her 70's telling her life story so that the family would have this record which is far and away the best memorabilia we have of her.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Life Chronicles provides an invaluable service. I work at a local Cancer Center and I have referred many families over the years for video taping. Initially, many patients and families are anxious about being recorded. But it only takes a few minutes for Kate and her crew to melt away those fears. By the end of the sessions, patients leave feeling validated. It is a beautiful & healing process.
On a personal note, I think it is important to mention that I also have been a beneficiary of this wonderful service. When my siblings and I were told that my father's life was measured in months, we began recording his life stories. I asked Kate if she would compile these recording into one viewable DVD for my family. I knew at the time that the person who was going to need this video more than any family member, was my father's favorite grandson, who also happens to be my son. My son still can not watch the video, but he holds tight to his copy. Thank you for helping my son.
Fondly,
Mary

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

see above

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

don't know.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I came to LifeChronicles the summer between my junior and senior year of high school, looking for something meaningful to do with my summer that would give me some video production experience. What I received from LifeChronicles, was so much more. My experience taping people at LifeChronicles taught me so much about life and how it can be cruel and unfair, yet still so full of love and joy. I expected the tapings to be morose and depressing, yet not a single one was. Every person I taped just had messages for the ones they loved and stories to share with future generations--there was nothing depressing about it at all. More than video production, LifeChronicles taught me about the resilience and joy of the human condition. I gained so much from my experience at LifeChronicles that two years after my first summer volunteering, I came back to volunteer again after my first year of college.
Additionally, I am constantly impressed by the people running LifeChronicles. The few staff members and the many volunteers are all so passionate about what they do and devote themselves fully to their work, believing fully in the power of a video to capture the memory of someone. LifeChronicles is a truly unique and important non-profit organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

what it has taught me about people. LifeChronicles has shown me that everyone has an interesting story to tell and that no person's life should not be chronicled.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give it more money so that it can reach more people. LifeChronicles already does so much with so little money, I just wish they received more donations so that they could tape even more people, impacting more families.

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Rating: 5 stars  

LIfe Chronicles taped my late husband Joe sixth months into his illness of ALS (Lou Gehrigs disease) Words cannot express how important this tape has been in our lives. At the time of Joe's death our girls were 11, 7, 2 and 8months old. Life Chronicles' volunteer traveled around town with Joe's sister to capture some of his childhood for them, Joe sat and talked for hours about everything he wanted the girls to know and remember while he was gone. Still, as important as the message is that he left for the girls I think what is MOST important is capturing DADDY as he was. The girls are able to see his mannerisms and hear his voice not just hear about the type of person he was. I believe this to be very important because as the years pass the memories never fade but the small details do. My youngest daughter never got to know her Daddy but with our Life Chronicles tape she is able to hear him say her name and speak to her which is so amazing. The work that Life Chronicles completes is just so important. They truly touch many many lives along the way and really make a difference. I know we are ever so grateful for the gift they have given us!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

We have the taping to cherish forever!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make sure they had enough donations to keep doing what they are doing. Their work is SO important!

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