Become an online pen pal and brighten a seniors' day

In these times of social isolation and social distancing as we try to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, our senior population are among the most vulnerable to isolation and feelings of being alone.

But a simple letter, or a kind message can help change that.

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Last week, thanks to Mike Larson of Mike’s Critters, a community pen pal project has started with community members stepping up on-line to pen a letter to senior residents at The Wexford and Waterford in Tsawwassen.

“Mike comes in and does shows all the time – he is very popular with the residents,” said Janice Miller from Bria Communities. “When he approached us with this idea, we just loved it. This project is slowly getting rolling, but we would love to see it blow up. Residents at both The Waterford and The Wexford would be so appreciative of this kind of personal connection. The days are long, and a few kind words really brighten things up.”

Miller said Wexford resident Mary-Anne Barlow was so touched by the letter she received as well as some of the artwork created by her new pen pal Sarah and her children.

Barlow then went to work on an emailed response back to the family.

With Barlow’s permission the Optimist is sharing this excerpt: “I am called the First Lady of The Wexford because I was the first person to move in when it opened up four years ago,” said Barlow. “My favourite color is blue. I would love some pictures colored in blue. I love listening to Tom Jones, Michael Buble and Elvis. I love most music. I used to love to dance. I still dance only seated that still works for me! I really love to paint. We have an artist come to us once a month to teach us how to paint. I really enjoy it.”

Those looking to write letters and become pen pals with the residents at The Waterford and The Wexford can email recreation manager Diane James at: diane.james@briacommunities.ca with the subject line ‘Pen Pals for seniors.’

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© Delta Optimist

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