(Posted 2020 December)
Many centuries ago, Aesop once declared something that still holds true today, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” During this highly tumultuous time that has tested everyone around the globe, there are people of all ages who have demonstrated how to live by this motto. Here, in Northern Virginia, it’s been heartening to see that many have found safe ways to make a difference in their communities.
Due to the pandemic, Fairfax County senior centers began offering activities virtually instead of in-person. In an effort to remind older adults that others were thinking of them and to reduce social isolation, Volunteer Solutions created a program called “Caring Cards.”
Volunteer Solutions volunteers: Carol Dexter, Eleanor Dyment, Abby Lekezime, Marion Glass and Deb Richlen have been busy creating and writing cards for older adult participants at the Lewinsville senior center. These compassionate ladies have written over 200 cards between them, so far! Additional senior centers will also be receiving cards.
Carol Dexter expressed these thoughts, “Hearts are the universal language. Sending these cards is my way of letting these individuals know they are loved and not forgotten. Giving awakens my gratefulness for my own blessings!”
Volunteer Solutions also partnered with Girl Scout troops, Young Men’s Service League of Oakton-Vienna and the Department of Housing to create and write cards for older adults in senior living residences. Since the senior housing holiday events were cancelled, these kind notes helped to spread cheer to residents during the holiday season. The group “Women of GoodWorks” generously donated a variety of craft supplies so that some of the youth would have what they need to make cards, at home. Girl Scout troops also helped earlier in the year by writing cards to senior housing congregate meal clients.
It’s safe to assume that Eleanor Dyment echoed the thoughts of many volunteer note-writers when she shared, “It was a joy to send messages of connection and love to so many seniors who might be lonely during the epidemic. I didn't know who got my cards, but I honestly tried to pour my love into each word I wrote and hoped they would feel it.”
So far, over 1,000 cards have been created and distributed to older adults in Fairfax County! We hope that ongoing acts of kindness will be a helpful reminder that we are all connected, despite physical distancing precautions.
This article is part of the Department of Family Services Older Adults Volunteer Solutions Caring Community Updates e-news – providing a variety of updates and articles about our volunteers in action. Learn more about Volunteer Solutions.