Jessica Cohn and her 10-year-old twin children, Jeremy and Tamara, are spending a few hours each week writing and sending cards of encouragement to children they don’t even know going through hard times.
“I started seeing on multiple Facebook parenting groups posts by moms and dads whose children weren’t getting any RSVPs to their birthday parties,” said Jessica Cohn, co-founder of The Friend Send.
“Kids who were having really rough situations at school, going through really rough times.”
Jessica and her children decided to take matters into their own hands and started The Friend Send in October. It’s a simple, yet impactful initiative based on helping children 12 or younger feel less alone.
“The level of bullying today seems to be so high and it made me so incredibly sad,” said Jessica.
“But you have to think positive,” said Jeremy Cohn, co-founder of The Friend Send. “We’re going to make these kids lives better and to make them feel good.”
The Friend Send has two types of cards: the Birthday Card, which is meant for kids who have received no, or very few, RSVPs to their birthday parties, and the Kindness Card, which is meant for a child who is being bullied at school, feeling lonely, or is going through a difficult time at home.
“I can’t stand the thought of a child feeling upset, feeling alone or feeling isolated,” said Jessica.
Whether it’s before or after school or over the weekend, cards are selected for each child and decorated. All cards include a handwritten message of hope for children across Canada.
“It’s hard to see what kids are going through, but we still send them an encouraging message to make them happier,” said Tamara Cohn, co-founder of The Friend Send.
To date more than 300 cards have been sent.
“I think it has really opened Jeremy and Tamara’s eyes to the fact that kids all over Canada can go through so many difficult times and these kids are exactly like my kids, like anybody else’s kids, and I think it’s given them such a sense of empathy and such a desire to continue helping others,” said Jessica.