The young ones sure know how to spread kindness in the community.
On Tuesday afternoon, Abigail Pastorius, better known as Abby, a Grade 6 student from Holy Trinity Catholic School handed over 55 handcrafted cards to residents at Guelph Lake Commons to let them know they are remembered and loved in the community.
The cards were made by Abby and her schoolmates.
Even though they wore masks, you could see residents’ eyes light up with joy.
“It’s wonderful that somebody is thinking about us,” said 98-year-old David Wilson as he opened the card and ran his fingers across the words in the card.
The initiative was inspired by Abby's close friend, Isabelle Peverley at St. Michael Catholic School, who launched a school-wide letter writing campaign called ‘Letters of Love’ in April where she collected nearly 250 hand written cards for seniors in the community.
“I really liked how she was taking initiative with her school and so I wanted to bring it over and I thought it was a really good idea,” said Pastorius.
“I was really enjoying doing this with my school.”
The initiative was inspired by a non-profit organization called ‘Letters of Love to our Elders’ that sends hand crafted letters that include jokes, riddles and kind notes to seniors around the world.
Abby and Peverley have been very close friends for the last three years. Abby's mother Melanie Peverley said the two have stayed in touch digitally through the pandemic and once Peverley put together the program at her school, she encouraged Abby to do it too.
Abby wrote a letter to her teacher and principal asking if they would be okay if she organized a campaign to write letters for seniors. Upon their approval, she wrote a letter to parents and teachers that was sent out through the school which encouraged students to crafts cards.
“We set up a drop box at our house and she collected 55 cards and letters of love,” said Melanie.
Brian Tabb, general manager at the Guelph Lake Commons said the 55 cards will be displayed for the 130 residents during meal service which really helps boost their morale.
“When everyone is in the same room, they get to share them (the cards) with each other and show each other what this person wrote or what this person wrote,” said Tabb.
“It does big time raise the morale.”
Tabb said the residence has had groups bring cards to the centre in the past, but this was the first time a singular person came up with the idea themselves.
“That’s pretty special,” he said.
Melanie said Abby was very close to her great grandmother who passed away last year at the age of 96.
“She was in a condo attached to the senior centre and Abby got a good sense of how lonely it can be just by how much my grandmother would appreciate the time we would go over,” said Melanie adding that the relationship helped Abby understand the importance of caring for seniors.
Abby said if her great grandmother was here, she would have been very happy to receive a card and she hopes others in the residence feel the same.
“It's lovely. Its delightful to get these. We’ve been getting them from various places and its always heartwarming. Heartwarming that others are thinking of us,” said resident at the Guelph Lake Commons, Nadia Martin, upon receiving the card.