The Stationery Exchange
Since taking on the Stationery Exchange program last summer, I feel it's gone really well. While so many people are making requests for supplies, there are probably twice as many volunteers willing to share their supplies We are all fulfilling LAI's mission of "Fighting Senior Loneliness One Letter at a Time." That’s fantastic!
Writing letters is a fantastic group activity, especially for students and community events. Students are probably getting spring fever now so when teachers provide stationery, stickers, or embellishments, they will see their students' shine and burst with creativity! (I would have much rather done a letter writing project vs algebra any day, but that's just me!) We have pictures of a California group of students participating in an LAI event.
I want to share with the community how we handle requests for stationery. Like other team volunteers, I work full time and volunteer with Letters Against Isolation, and I rely solely on email to communicate with other letter writers. If you find that you or your group needs supplies or wants to donate supplies, reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org. I may not respond that same day but I will respond within 24-48 hours. It helps to know how many people you are expecting for your event OR how many residents you want to write. If you're donating supplies, please let me know what you are able to send. Numbers and type of supplies are important here. Once I have your specifics, I add your information to my spreadsheet. If I have enough stationery to spare, I will mail it directly to you. If I just can't, I will reach out to another letter writer who wants to share, and that volunteer will contact you directly.
Here's a really important point, though. The stationery exchange program is not a way to dump your unwanted supplies. Remember we use these supplies to provide letters and cards to our seniors and while we have card makers, people requesting stationery want paper and cards appropriate to write- not used scraps of paper. Be just as kind to post office employees as you intend to be to our senior population; they are carrying a heavy load, pardon the pun. Also, it's more than okay to use plain printing paper to compose your letters. Decorate them with stickers, hand drawn pictures, quotes, or anything that will brighten the days of our seniors. Remember you should not include anything religious or political because our community is inclusive and diverse.
We know all of our letter writers are fabulous and constantly brighten our senior population's days, but it never hurts to have a refresher on this topic. Feel free to reach out to email@example.com anyone else on the Leadership Team if you have any questions. We are all here to help.