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Caring and Connecting Pen Pal Initiative
      
The Caring and Connecting Pen Pal Initiative connects volunteers with seniors in care homes through letters. We are mitigating the isolation that the elderly are experiencing during this unprecedented and difficult time, all while following physical distancing protocol. Pen pals compose a letter on their laptops, and send the letters to our email, which are then screened and formatted to be accessible for the average older adult. Then, the package of letters will be redirected by email to Recreational Directors at long-term care homes and retirement residences. They are then printed off, and distributed to residents. Most of the letters are one-way letters of kindness due to feedback from our partnering residences, which indicate that most seniors simply enjoy reading letters without having to respond (some have cognitive decline, while others have physical disabilities). Staffing limitations during the COVID-19 pandemic are also a factor. Please see below for how to get started, as well as for links to our CBC article, CTV interview, and Globe and Mail article for your reference as well. Media: CTV Interview: https://www.ctvnews.ca/video?cache=wpwecmoua%3Fot%3DAjaxLayout%3FclipId%3D104062?clipId=1994194&playlistId=1.5021851&binId=1.810401&playlistPageNum=1&binPageNum=1 CBC Article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/pen-pals-seniors-covid-19-1.5596406 Want to volunteer as a pen pal? Email us at [email protected] You can find out letter writing guidelines on our Facebook page. Want to implement this program in a long-term care home? Email us at [email protected]

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