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Northern Nevada senior facility starts pen pal program

The program started with a simple social media post. Employees snapped photos of seniors and highlighted a few of their favorite things.
Published: Jul. 27, 2020 at 8:09 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Carson Valley Senior Living started a Pen Pal program for its seniors during the pandemic. The program started with a simple social media post. Employees snapped photos of seniors and highlighted a few of their favorite things.

Life Enrichment Director Adrianna Ward said, “I want to say we received over a hundred letters. We had about four care packages come in, between crossword puzzles, succulent plants, goodies, and the candies that they like.”

Ward didn’t expect the facility would get an overwhelming response. She said, “So we started the pen pal July 6th and the post went viral, within a week we had over 40,000 people reach out.”

Seniors Lorraine Strazi and Susan Rielley responded back to their new pen pals. Strazi said, “I apologized for my handwriting because it was yucky.” Rielley said, “I wrote back, she has to write back, you know, you have to wait, you know how mail is.”

According to Ward these new formed friendships have made a difference for these seniors. The facility scaled down on visitation hours since the pandemic. “With the window visits we are doing and now we are doing outdoor family visits for 30 minutes, it’s still not enough sometimes for them.”

She continued, “To have that constant writing it keeps their mind going and they just love getting that attention and knowing that there are people out there during this pandemic that people do care.”

If you want to become a pen pal you can click here: https://www.facebook.com/CarsonValleySL

Employees at Carson Valley Senior Living started a pen pal program during the pandemic.
Employees at Carson Valley Senior Living started a pen pal program during the pandemic.(KOLO)

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