United Way of Franklin County is inviting community members to be ‘Pen-Pals for seniors’

Carlisle/West Shore

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) – Many are concerned with the impact on mental health during this time of social distancing and the effect on people in independent and assisted living facilities.

To help with the isolation, United Way of Franklin County is inviting community members to send encouraging and friendly notes, poems, drawings, and stories to senior citizens in independent and
assisted living facilities who might be happy to read something.

“As our staff team works to serve and support community during these times, we couldn’t leave out our neighbors in the age group that is most susceptible to serious illness from COVID-19. We’re already staying at home to help protect their health, but we thought to ourselves, ‘What can we do to help them feel less isolated?’ That is when the pen pal idea came up, and we ran with it,” said Amy Hicks, executive director of United Way of Franklin County.

Hicks reached out to the Franklin County Area Agency on Aging to see how the organizations could partner to connect senior residents with the letters. The Agency on Aging has continued their services providing support and outreach to residents in independent and assisted living facilities during the pandemic.

Those who would like to send an uplifting message can mail to the Agency on Aging office.


Pen Pals may address letters to “Dear Friend” and mail to:
Franklin Senior
Franklin County Area Agency on Aging
600 Norland Ave., Suite #11
Chambersburg, PA 17201

United Way of Franklin County is preparing a space on its website to post a gallery of letters that seniors send in response to the pen-pal mail, so the community can see what they have to say.

Any seniors in independent or assisted living facilities that wish to share a message to community to be posted on the United Way website can mail letters to:
United Way of Franklin County
182 S. Second St.
Chambersburg, PA 17201

Sending letters through these agencies protects the privacy and personal information of all those who participate, while still making human connections to share messages of joy and hope during the stay at home order.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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