With stay-at-home orders continuing for weeks in Pennsylvania, many people are feeling isolated, restless or both. Those who were already isolated before the pandemic are even more so, and those who are at home but are healthy may be looking for ways to make a difference while maintaining social distancing. Enter the Send-A-Card Project, launched in April.
Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley is collecting handwritten cards to send to older adults. Anyone, including children with their families, can include a note in a card which will brighten an older adult’s day. Volunteers are encouraged to use their creativity to make their card special, whether they create it themselves, buy a card or use one they already had stashed at home.
“The important part is to send a friendly message of kindness to let an older adult in the Lehigh Valley know that the Jewish community cares about them,” said Chelsea Karp, JFS volunteer coordinator.
Participants may drop off their cards in a sealed, plastic bag in the mailbox at the front of the JFS building or mail the cards to: Jewish Family Service, 2004 W. Allen St., Allentown, PA 18104. Arrangements may also be made for Karp to pick up the cards at their home (contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-821-8722).
Those proficient in Russian are especially encouraged to pop a card in the mail to be sent along to native Russian speakers in the area.
“Sending a handmade card is a wonderful way to connect with our older adult clients. In the past, this generation primarily communicated through handwritten notes and letters, so your personally written message will be particularly meaningful,” explained JFS Executive Director Debbie Zoller.
Karp agreed, saying, “Recipients love it when the letters are personal. We encourage you to make your letters detailed, thoughtful and heartfelt.”
Full instructions on how to make and send the cards, including suggested messages to get you started, are available on the JFS website at jfslv.org/volunteer/the-send-a-card-project.
Note: The CDC, World Health Organization and Surgeon General have indicated that there is currently no evidence
that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail.