Shelley lives in a nursing home in Brighton, Massachussetts, and has been feeling isolated ever since the pandemic started. “You miss the closeness with people — whether it’s family or friends; you miss the contact,” she says. Last September, Shelley started receiving letters written by high school students volunteering for the Brookline chapter of Letters for Rose (LFR). “When you’re in a nursing home and you receive letters like that, it lifts your spirits,” Shelley says.
In a small assisted-living facility in Maryland, a bulletin board displays brightly colored cards and letters from teens to residents. One letter describes a teen’s grandparents in the army, and stories learned in history class: It is addressed to a resident who had served. Another letter describes being in the marching band: It is to a resident who used to play the saxophone. Residents “shared their letters with each other,” said Debby Rosenberg, nurse manager of Hummingbird Manor in Aberdeen, Md.“They could not wait to hear what each one said. It was awesome.” The letters have come from teenagers who participate in a nationwide effort, started by two Montclair High School teens, called “Letters for Rose.”
Channel 12 News
“It is, perhaps, a lost art form: the handwritten letter. Something so common just a generation ago, replaced by text messages and emojis. A group of students at Chandler High School is joining a nationwide movement to revive the art of letter writing. They are using their words to bring comfort to those most isolated by COVID-19"
Annika Aristimuno and Layla Hurwitz, both juniors at Montclair High School, have found a unique way to occupy their time while in quarantine. They started an organization, Letters for Rose, to help combat loneliness of the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The duo collect letters and artwork and deliver them to local nursing homes. Aristimuno said, "We have over 300 leadership volunteers that started collecting letters in over 25 states. Thus far, they have delivered hundreds of letters/artwork in many states."
We appreciate the gesture so much and the smiles that your donations bring to our residents' faces. You all are an absolute gift!
Woodland Terrace Nursing Home in North Carolina
These letters and artwork touched my heart so deeply - to think that people who do not know me took the time to write to me makes me feel so special
Resident at Arbor Terrace Roseland in Roseland, NJ
We had smiles, laughing and very grateful residents. They loved the wonderful addition to the residents bulletin boards. Thank you again.
Beechwood Post Acute & Transitional Care facility in Santa Monica, CA
The time and effort the volunteers took to write such detailed lovely letters was very much appreicated by all. Your mission of bringing smiles to our residents was a big success!
Woodhaven Retirement Home in Livonia, MI