Jennifer White has been working with seniors for 20 years.
Knowing the effect that the pandemic has had on those stuck in care homes, unable to see family due to COVID-19 restrictions, the owner of Assisted AdvantAGE Senior Care decided to take action.
White organized a partnership between elementary schools and senior homes, in which kids could write letters and Christmas cards for the elders.
“I thought about (reaching) out to the community to see if we could come up with an idea that would brighten the lives of the seniors during the season,” she said.
Initially, she had hoped to get two or three classes involved with the initiative, but the response was better than she could’ve expected. Fifteen classes have sent in letters and cards, totalling more than 500.
“My heart was melting with the love that was poured into them,” White said. “It honestly made me tear up.”
One of the teachers involved, Leah Loverin, who teaches grades two and three at Willowgrove Elementary School, found the partnership to be a natural choice. Her class was in the midst of a project based on holiday traditions, both past and present.
“When I explained to (the class) that (the cards and letters) were going to a seniors home, and these seniors were probably in a position where they couldn’t see their families this year, they were very excited to make the cards,” Loverin explained.
Their counterparts at the local care homes have been just as equally excited to receive the cards.
“I was thrilled to hear about it and we said, yes, we are doing this,” Prairie Springs Care Home community connector Laura Allcock said.
The relationship went beyond just receiving the cards, the seniors at Prairie Springs were so overjoyed to receive this gift of holiday cheer that they in turn wrote back to the students in Loverin’s class.