Last weekend, LAI co-founder, Shreya made a very special trip out to Denver, Colorado to visit LAI Board Member and VC, Ellen! Ellen has been with LAI since the very beginning, joining LAI just a few weeks after we got started at the beginning of the pandemic!
On Saturday (July, 17), Shreya and Ellen had the privilege of visiting Dayspring Villa! Dayspring Villa is a lovely Assisted Living facility in Denver, Colorado. Their fantastic seniors have been receiving uplifting letters and cards from LAI volunteers for almost 2 years now!
Above: The team at Dayspring Villa had prepared a meet and greet for the seniors to meet Shreya and Ellen. It was lovely to meet so many of the seniors we have been serving there!
Above: Senior recipient, Carol, presents Shreya with a thank you letter. She writes:
“[A card or letter] brings a moment in our day where the world stops, and someone from another place has taken the time to send us a short message, or a long letter, or a picture that gives us some joy to our hearts.” - Carol, Senior Recipient at Dayspring Villa
Above: Communal letter pickup station at Dayspring Villa
When we arrived at Dayspring Villa, we were met with a warm welcome! Stormie, who is one of the wonderful administrators, gave us a tour. We learned that at Dayspring Villa, letters are left in common areas like communal living rooms, the lobby and the waiting area by the dining hall for anyone to read. This means that your letters are not just appreciated by one person, but by the whole community! Stormie told us that the residents love being the first person to read a letter because they get to rip open the envelope! They’ll sometimes sift through a stack, reading volunteers’ lovely notes until they find an unopened letter!
Above: Shreya and senior recipient, Carol at Dayspring Villa
Although the letters are displayed in communal areas, when a senior comes across a letter that really resonates with them, reminds them of a fond memory, brings them joy, a chuckle, or even just a smile, they are encouraged to bring the letter back to their room. That way, they can reread it whenever they like! One lovely resident named Carol proudly showed us a letter which she received back in 2020! Carol also told us about how amazed she is when she gets letters from young people. She is always blown away by how creative some of their letters are! Carol asked us to pass along her special thanks to the student volunteers in our community.
Above: Senior Recipient Angela at Dayspring Villa
Stormie was eager to tell us about how she’s seen the LAI letters and cards impact her seniors.
“For these seniors, mail was such a huge part of their lives. It was how they communicated! That disappeared so quickly, and we don’t really talk about that. Now that receiving physical mail that isn’t a bill or an advertisement is so rare, it is really exciting and special when they receive something that is actually for them. Before LAI, when mail came in residents used to ask ‘is that for me?’ I’m so happy that now I can say yes!” - Stormie, Administrator at Dayspring Villa
Before the end of our visit, we swung by the main office where Stormie showed us her favorite card from LAI. A talented volunteer had painted a lighthouse and written a kind message thanking Stormie and the Dayspring Villa staff for all they do to care for their seniors. It hangs prominently on the office’s wall. If you can, please tuck in an extra letter for the staff of wherever you write, they do an extraordinary job caring for their seniors!
Above: Daysprings Villa administrator, Stormie, displays her favorite card from LAI on the wall in her office.
Thank you so much for reading! We hope that this shows you just how impactful your letters and cards are on the seniors who we serve. Thank you so much to each and every one of you for writing!
If you want to read more Senior Spotlight blogposts, check them out here.