Lakeshore Teen Hopes To Collect 10,000 Holiday Cards For The Elderly
Right now, as you read this, there is an elderly woman sitting by herself. She hasn’t had a visitor in two months – other than a personal care worker that helps her get dressed in the morning, and a nurse that checks her blood pressure. Her husband is gone and so are her friends.
As the holidays approach, she reflects on good times. She remembers her kitchen bustling with activity and saturated with so many smells – turkey, pumpkin pie, and the woodsy cologne her husband always wore. These memories sustain her, as she prepares to spend another Christmas at her long term care facility alone. No visitors. Not even a greeting card.
There are countless seniors that will be spending the holidays this way. How can we help these seniors feel as though they are not alone? Sometimes all it takes is a simple gesture; something as simple as a handmade card can brighten someone’s day.
Emily Truman, a 16-year old from Lakeshore, Ontario and founder of the Stay Gold Society, is on a mission to spread kindness to the elderly living in nursing homes by collecting handmade cards from people in the community.
“I’ve been volunteering at a local nursing home for nearly a year now, and have met so many wonderful people. People who have raised families, saved lives, taught hundreds of students -changed the world in their own right, yet now, in what are supposed to be their golden years, are left feeling isolated, lonely and forgotten. I’ve seen the impact that simple acts of kindness can have on them.” – Emily Truman
Whereas Truman realizes not everyone has the time to visit the elderly, but most of us can at least find the time to create a card for someone who could use some kindness. It’s a simple, but powerful gesture that helps us to slow down and reflect on the true meaning of the season.
Through her initiative, HappyMail, Truman is asking the community to create handmade cards for the holidays that will be delivered to seniors in long-term care homes, as well as those who are homebound.
“My goal for this holiday season is to collect 10,000 cards,” states Truman.
Cards can be dropped off at any HappyMail post box location, which includes all Windsor Public Libraries from now until December 15, 2019 and the Amherstburg, Essex, Kingsville, Harrow, LaSalle, Leamington, Lakeshore, and Tecumseh branches of the Essex County Library from November 9 to December 9.
The HappyMail initiative began less than a month ago, and it is already getting attention throughout Windsor/Essex and beyond. Schools and youth groups in London and Toronto, as well as Florida and New Jersey will be making as well as hand-delivering cards to area nursing homes. Handmade cards are also being mailed in from as far away as Europe.
“I am hoping that more schools, workplaces, churches etc. will get on board and create handmade cards for this initiative,” Truman expresses. “Teachers, business owners and other community members interested in the program can email me at [email protected]”