On July 1st, 2022, it was announced that Shreya Patel (20), co-founder of Letters Against Isolation, would be one of 200 young changemakers receiving a Diana Award. This honor is granted by the British government in the memory of Princess Diana each year on her birthday. With both royals and former Prime Ministers as its sponsors, the organization describes itself as “the most prestigious accolade a young person aged 9-25 years can receive for their social action or humanitarian work.” You can watch the full ceremony here!
For Boston resident, Shreya, this award recognizes her work fighting senior loneliness through the 501(c)(3) she and her sister built. Inspired by their grandma who was self-isolating in London then, since April 2020, the sisters have recruited over 20,000 volunteers to write more than 435,000 letters that bring joy and hope to seniors in 7 countries.
Letters Against Isolation has appeared in national media like The Washington Post, written for the National Center on Elder Abuse, hosted a service event for the Biden-Harris Inaugural Committee, and even spoke at Harvard University!
LAI continues to grow and achieve new things - they recently launched a stamp fund so that all volunteers, regardless of financial ability, can write to seniors!
With the platform that the Diana Award has granted her, the Junior at Washington University in St. Louis, hopes to inspire more young people to serve their communities and feel brave enough to take the first step toward making change.
She also hopes to raise more awareness about senior loneliness and encourage people to reach out to the elders in their lives.