As a stationery publisher, we love creating beautiful greeting cards to spread inspiration, comfort, and cheer. We know that a handwritten note has the power to brighten someone’s day — a small act of kindness that can transform.
Sisters Shreya and Saffron were doing their best to support their self-isolating grandparents by calling them every day during the COVID outbreak. Then they had an idea to do something more. Here’s an excerpt from their website Letters Against Isolation:
We realized that without visitors or the ability to interact with the wider world, many senior citizens may be growing lonely. Senior loneliness is a well-documented issue and has effects not only on seniors’ mental health but on their physical health. We believed that we could do something to help this situation. We decided to spread some joy and write handwritten letters to residents of assisted living facilities and care homes. When growing demand for letters outpaced us, we started Letters Against Isolation.
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. 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.