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Home / Letter to an Elder Day

Arcadia Native Hosts Global Day of Letter Writing to Seniors

Eileen Chen. | Photo courtesy of City of Arcadia

UC Santa Barbara student helps send more than 90,000 handwritten letters to elders isolated by COVID-19

We’ve all gotten a taste of what it feels like to be socially isolated during the pandemic. No one deserves to feel alone. UC Santa Barbara biology major and Arcadia native Eileen Chen is changing that.

Chen is a community outreach coordinator for the nonprofit Love for Our Elders, where she prepares for Letter to an Elder Day on Feb. 26, a national day designed to encourage writing to elders isolated by COVID-19 through its Letters of Love program, which lets you write an anonymous, handwritten card to brighten an older adult’s day.

“I think a lot of elders are feeling isolated, especially during this pandemic,” Chen said. “It’s so important to remind them that there are so many people out there that care about them.”

And that is just what she has been doing. In 2020, Love for Our Elders sent 90,333 letters of love to 952 senior facilities across seven countries: Australia, Canada, England, India, Ireland, Malawi, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

Love for Our Elders hopes to collect 10,000 letters in time for Letter to an Elder Day.

The organization accepts letters year-round. Readers can learn how to put a smile on someone’s face with just a letter at loveforourelders.org.

Love for Our Elders is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to fight loneliness with love. The organization has more than 60,000 volunteers across 70 countries, ranging from individuals at home to schools and Fortune 500 companies. Its work has been featured in CNN, National Geographic, Glamour, USA Today, and O, The Oprah Magazine.

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