Volunteers connect with seniors through letter writing campaign to combat loneliness

Nationwide letter-writing campaign sends thousands of cards to seniors to help fight loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- COVID-19 has meant most of us can't spend time with our extended families. The Patel sisters came up with a way to cheer up their own grandparents during self-isolation.

"Even though we call them and text them every day it was clear they were still getting a bit lonely," said Shreya Patel. "And so one of my grandmother's friends actually wrote her a letter, and it just made her whole day and we were inspired by that. We thought how can we spread that same positivity, that same love to people in our community?"

Shreya Patel and her younger sister, Saffron, spread those positive feelings through Letters Against Isolation, sending mail to seniors around the nation. The residents of a senior living community in Massachusetts were thrilled to participate and receive the letters, artwork and inspirational messages.

"Not only do they keep them, but they actually display them. They put them in their apartment, they look at them again, they read them for inspiration. Some of them have sent them along to family or friends," said Michelle Meehan, Life Enrichment Director.

In just two months, these sisters are coordinating correspondence throughout 11 states, including California. And the Patel sisters say they're just getting started!

"We intend to continue to send them letters and cards after the pandemic is over because senior loneliness is not something that is going to go away," said Saffron Patel, 'Letters Against Isolation' co-founder.

The Patel sisters are they're looking for more volunteer writers. You can sign up on lettersagainstisolation.com.
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