Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

By Kate Radford
BVD 

Mail to Our Seniors during Nat'l Card & Letter Writing Month

 

April 15, 2020



With residents across the state staying at home in response to Governor Bullock’s directive, libraries are offering programs to encourage kids, individuals and families to write letters to seniors.

Lewis & Clark Library plans to launch a program to coordinate mail efforts to several assisted living facilities during the month of April.

Bretagne Byrd, the librarian spearheading the program, organizes bookmobile visits to senior and assisted living facilities throughout Lewis and Clark County. With many facilities suspending non-essential visits, Byrd recognized that residents and seniors would be receiving fewer visitors and less social interaction. “It’s a really isolated part of our community that we can reach through this,” said Byrd.

After Byrd reached out to assisted living facilities about a mail to seniors program, she said “I was surprised by how enthusiastic and how grateful they were for any sort of contact. At Touchmark, they have people turning 100 and 99, and they need birthday cards. That was stuff that I hadn’t though about before. It’s nice to provide things for people who could use some uplifting things in their room.”

Byrd said she has been watching what libraries are doing across the country and trying to ensure Lewis & Clark Library stays up to date with services.

“Since we can’t go with the bookmobile, I think this is a great way to keep our partnerships going. Most of the stops are really excited to get drawings from kids. Some of them said this would be awesome during normal times, but it’s definitely needed now,” she said.

The Library plans to list addresses for facilities that are accepting cards and letters on the website and to add to this list as new facilities request mail.

The Lincoln Branch Library will have a box at the Lincoln Post Office to collect letters and cards which they plan to distribute locally in partnership with the Meals on Wheels program through the Senior Center and through the weekend meals service at the Community Hall.

The program aligns with National Card and Letter Writing Month, which was established in 2001 by the United States Postal Service. The original press release stated, “Writing, sending and receiving letters, postcards, and greeting cards is a tradition that has preserved our nation’s history and has changed lives—particularly in times of war and times of personal triumph and tragedy. Unlike other communications, card and letter writing is timeless, personal, and immediately tangible.”

The USPS has partnered with Scholastic to create lessons for grade school students around writing and addressing letters, including a lesson on writing letters to elders.

 

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