Volunteer Spotlight: Ikra
Hello amazing volunteers! Today on the blog, Ikra, a Letters Against Isolation volunteer, is sharing her story. Ikra heard about Letters Against Isolation from a volunteer forum and has been sending letters and cards to the seniors we serve ever since! In this blogpost, she shares a personal story that motivates her to volunteer as well as some truly inspiring tips about how to decorate your letters and cards!
I became a Letters Against Isolation volunteer because I wanted the seniors living in nursing homes to feel connected. I decided to write letters so that they knew that people were thinking of them and they were not alone during this difficult time. Even something small like a card can make such a difference in a person’s day because that means another person really thought about them and took the time out of their day to create a beautiful card.
I wanted to join Letters Against Isolation because everything is handmade, which makes things personal and truly shows how much volunteers care about the people they are writing to.
An instance that I witnessed senior loneliness is when my family and I were taking food to a family friend living in a nursing home a few years ago. I felt sad that he had to stay by himself and did not have family to live with, so I can hardly imagine what it must feel like for seniors now to be all alone in such a scary situation. I hope that my cards make them feel loved and stronger in an uncertain time.
One tip I have when writing letters to seniors is to make them stand out and be very colorful. Even if you are not the best artist, writing colorful words or simple designs can really make your card pop! I’m not the biggest artist and what I did on some of my cards is draw borders and vines along the edge of my paper with fancy gel pens to make them elegant and cheerful. If you don’t like drawing, another thing that I recommend doing is writing some jokes or riddles to make the senior you are writing to laugh or have something to think about. Be sure to write the answer to the joke or riddle somewhere on the card! I have also made lists of things for the senior citizen to do, activities like, stretching or listening to music, really anything that will make them feel happier. If you want to make your card different from other cards, consider cutting them out in different shapes, like hearts or stars. I haven’t tried this out yet, but I think it will turn out interesting and the seniors will like a different looking card. An idea that I got from a friend of mine who does not like drawing but loves calligraphy is to make writing a form of art. If you have really good handwriting and have some cute markers or those fancy highlighters, use them to your advantage and make your cards look cool and different. Whether you are good at drawing or writing, use your imagination and abilities to make the seniors a unique card that they’ll want to treasure, because that’s what this is about: giving the seniors comfort and showing them you care.
Thank you Ikra for sharing your story with the LAI community!
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If you'd like to hear about how your letters are being received by the seniors, click here.
If you are in need of some inspiration for your letters and cards, click here.