Community Stories

Pen Pals Needed for Senior Residents

Writing letters is a lost art. We email and text, but when was the last time you got a fancy pen and some textured paper and wrote an actual letter? Moreover, when was the last time you taught a child to write a letter? 

Here’s your chance. 

The residents at Lake Gibson Village, an assisted living facility in Lakeland, Florida, are looking for pen pals to keep them entertained during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Through a series of Facebook posts, the residents held up signs asking for letters and photos since they’re all cooped up. It’s a problem that’s plaguing nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the country. With the coronavirus is more dangerous to the elderly, many of these locations completely banned visitors, leaving residents lonely and struggling. 

“Can’t wait to hear from you,” one resident said.  

If you’re worried about being a good pen pal, or you just don’t know what to write, here are some tips to make your letters meaningful: 

  1. Ask question about their life. 
  2. Tell them about your life.
  3. Write enough for the other person to go on. A short letter might leave them wondering what to write back. 
  4. Include drawings and photos — especially from kids. 

You can send letters directly to the facility, and administrators will distribute them to the residents. 

Mail your letters to: 

Lake Gibson Village
ATTN: Pen Pals
771 Carpenters Way
Lakeland, FL 33809

About the author

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Jessie Harbin

Jessie lives in Meridianville with her husband, baby and four dogs. She thrives on chaos, and loves finding good news stories where you least expect them.

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