After two months of running this wonderful organization, I would like to share a little bit more about how Letters Against Isolation was founded. I know that many of our volunteers have picked up bits and pieces of the story by chatting to us, but I wanted to share this story with everyone!
I am Saffron, a 10th grader attending high school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I absolutely love volunteering and getting involved with my community! Prior to the pandemic, I was volunteering at our local science museum, hospital and STEM club on a weekly basis. Since I have moved countries and states a few times already, I find volunteering to be my way of getting to know my community and feeling connected. Once the pandemic started, I missed going to my volunteer programs! I was eager to find a new way to build a community and help people in need.
My sister Shreya just graduated from high school a year ago. She is taking a gap year before heading to Washington University in Saint Louis in the fall. Shreya also enjoys volunteering and is very close to our grandparents. She is interested in entrepreneurship and is always searching for ways she can make an impact or improve the community.
Letters Against Isolation started as a small-scale project for the two of us. My grandma who has been self-isolating for almost 4 months was feeling a bit lonely. A friend of hers wrote her a letter and she was so happy to receive it. To read the full story, click here. Shreya and I saw firsthand how something as simple as a letter can remind you that someone is thinking of you, and can really boost your mood. We thought that it is likely that many seniors were also feeling a bit isolated, and sending them a letter could lift their spirits. We contacted a local care facility and asked if we could send their residents a few letters. They told us that the residents were thrilled to receive them! We knew that we wanted to spread the love and that we needed help to do it. We enlisted the help of friends, family, and volunteers online. In just a few days, we found a huge number of people willing to take a bit of time out of their day to bring some joy to a senior.
We played a game of catch up. One week we would have to search for more homes for our growing team of volunteers to write to, the next we'd have to find more volunteers so that every senior received a letter. Shreya did most of the operations work, she posted online to recruit more volunteers, coordinated with nursing homes, and managed our social media. She also introduced our new spreadsheet logging system to make sure that every senior that we serve will get a letter or card! I set up this website to provide prospective volunteers with a place to learn more about us. Over time, I grew the website and added components like the blog, the media page, and the statistics page where we post our totals each week. I am a very creative person and one of my hobbies is photography. I had such a fun time designing the website and incorporating a few colorful photos of the cards that we have created as well as our volunteer's spectacular creations!
Over the course of this process, we have been constantly amazed by the creativity and kindness of our wonderful volunteers! Each week you continue to write new, funny and inspirational letters and cards to the seniors. None of this would have been possible without your support and commitment.
Shreya and I are so excited to keep serving more seniors and meeting more amazing volunteers in the future! We started this organization to help self-isolating seniors during this pandemic, but intend to continue long after the pandemic has ended. Senior loneliness is a terrible reality that many seniors faced before the pandemic and, unfortunately, many will continue to face after the pandemic. We are committed to doing what we can to fight against senior loneliness, and we look forward to meeting so many more amazing volunteers in the process.
Are you in need of inspiration? Click here to view the full collection of letter writing and decoration inspiration blog posts!
Thank you for spreading joy and helping us fight senior loneliness!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.