Hi, It’s Paula, writing on behalf of the Letters Against Isolation Leadership Team. We can’t thank everyone enough for participating in this great program and we are so proud of all the good it does. As we celebrate our second anniversary this April, we asked for feedback from the clients we currently serve through our Facility Verification Project. We were so pleased by the uniformly enthusiastic responses that we want to share them with you. As a volunteer, it’s normal to wonder whether your contributions are having any effect, but we hope the comments below assure you that our seniors love your cards and letters!
“Very pleased with all the cards they have been receiving. She gives them out to residents that do not come out of their rooms, and they are thrilled to get them.”
“The program is ‘fantastic,’ and that she often puts the cards or letters in welcome packets for new residents.”
“They love reading them out loud in a group and the lovely stories that people write about along with jokes, riddles and fun facts are a great hit.”
“They are using it for new people that come in because it makes a huge difference for them being able to receive these letters from people they don't even know. It makes them feel like they aren't alone and it just makes them so happy, especially the residents that don't really have any family. When they get these letters/cards their whole world is lit up knowing that people they don't even know care about them so much that they are filled with joy. It can make their weeks at the home happier than without the letters.”
“Our residents feel so very valued and special that a complete stranger takes the time to write a letter, send a card, draw a picture and so on. You are absolutely spreading joy to our residents each and every time they receive a card”
“Fantastic program! Residents put the cards on their bulletin boards.”
Several of our clients also passed along some tips to help make our cards and letters universally appealing, and we want to share those, as well.
Please be as general as possible with the salutations to give your letters the broadest possible appeal. For example, people who participate in the Meals on Wheels programs live in their own homes, so rather than addressing letters with “Dear Resident,” using a more generic greeting like “Dear Friend,” or just “Hello!” is a great choice.
Many of our participating seniors don’t have families, and cards asking them about children, grandchildren, or other relatives are potentially saddening, which is not the effect we’re trying to achieve. We recommend instead that you tell a little about your own family, pets, and activities, rather than asking seniors about theirs.
Comments that talk about being “isolated” or “locked down” are confusing for some seniors because most are not as isolated from Covid as they previously were.
Before the cards are distributed to the seniors, they’re read by the facilitie’s activity coordinators/staff members. Because of this, it’s not necessary to enclose each card in its own envelope, but if you do choose to use an envelope with each card, please don’t seal the flap.
Please remember to clearly write, “Letters Against Isolation” on the outside of the mailing envelope.
We are so grateful for your contributions to a cause that we feel very passionately about, and we congratulate you on helping us to reach this two-year milestone. We hope you’re as energized and inspired as we are by the fantastic feedback generated by your cards and letters. It’s definitely a reflection of the pleasure our seniors take in receiving them.
If you have questions or would like to pass along suggestions or comments, I encourage you to email me at Paula.email@example.com