Stationery Exchange Coordinator, Andrea, shares her experience running a volunteer event...keep reading to hear how you can do the same!
On Wednesday, October 5, a group of us gathered at my place of employment, Cordova Branch Library, to write letters to seniors. Cordova library is one of 19 in the Memphis Public Library system and is one of the largest branches. Even though we are always busy, we as staff and customers are civic-minded and always looking to serve our community. I knew hosting a group event for LAI would go well.
I was not wrong!
I provided lots and lots of stationery, ink pens, colored pencils, cardstock, magic markers, crayons, stickers, and more stationery. We had a blast. The group was first hesitant about what to write to the residents. When they were reassured anything they say, as long as it’s encouraging and kind, would be acceptable, poetry to paragraphs started flowing. Our group loved the variety of supplies they could use for their letters. The stickers were especially a huge success. It seemed all of us wanted to decorate and personalize our letters with lots of them all over the pages.
In the short 2 hours, our group of 9 was together, we laughed, talked, and asked others’ opinions of our artwork and compositions. Even though we composed our own letters, we were all working together to “combat senior loneliness one letter at a time!” It was a most rewarding feeling.
One volunteer letter writer told me she felt she had connected with the seniors and had earned her wings and halo after being part of this project!
Counting out the individual letters once we finished was astounding. Our small but mighty group of 9 had composed 72 letters! We were able to send cheer and encouragement to 5 separate facilities in such a short timeframe.
I do a lot of projects, programs, and outreach as part of my job here at Cordova library, but I must say this has to be one of my favorite events I have hosted. Ever.
Enough bragging on my group.
Anyone can host a group event for Letters Against Isolation. It’s easier than you imagine. Gather a group of two or more people. The more, the better, though. You can decide if you are going to provide the supplies, everyone should bring their own, OR you can reach out to email@example.com to see if we have any extra supplies for your group event. (We do!) Let us know in the signup portal you’re hosting a group event. We love knowing this, by the way. Don’t even worry about postage if you don’t think your group has the funds. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have concerns.
We at Letters Against Isolation are all also volunteer letter writers so we are here to encourage you, guide you, and help you in any way we can. Hosting group events are an excellent way to reach more seniors and fight elderly loneliness and isolation.
The Cordova Branch Library will be hosting other events in the upcoming months so stay tuned. Thank you for supporting Letters Against Isolation, and best wishes for your group events!