Words by Smiley Team
The pandemic was traumatic for a multitude of reasons, but one group of people most at risk of loneliness was the elderly.
Between family moving on and friends passing away, people that reach retirement age can often find themselves isolated. To combat that two sisters in Boston, US, Shreya and Saffron Patel, wanted to do something.
At the beginning of Covid, the duo made a point to consistently reach out to their grandparents, then got an idea when their grandma was ecstatic at receiving a handwritten letter. One thing led to another, and they decided to try and reach out to other elderly people that may find themselves isolated.
“This small gesture of connection meant the world to her,” Shreya tells Upworthy. “We realized that many other seniors may also be feeling disconnected, and that they may appreciate a letter.”
The sisters began by reaching out to Boston assisted living facilities to see if they would accept letters to the residents, which was met with enthusiasm.
They named their initiative Letters Against Isolation, with a simple mission. “We fight senior loneliness one letter at a time," they say. "Through handwritten messages of love, hope, and joy, our volunteer community brings seniors connection and improves their mental and physical health.”
In just under two years, the organization became an award-winning non-profit and with the help of over 28,000 volunteers, the organization has helped deliver over 460,000 letters to seniors at assisted living homes and care facilities in seven countries, including the US, Canada, Ireland, England, Australia, South Africa, and Israel.
DONATE: Letters Against Isolation accepts donations if you want to help fund their cause.
SUPPORT: Consider getting involved with the organization and donating your time to help send out some letters.