You heard the call

Homemade masks and cards are brightening the day for many

When we asked you to help in our efforts to cope with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, you answered – Big Time!

Last month Full Life Volunteer Programs Director Ginger Seybold and Volunteer Programs Supervisor Jessica Chin devised some creative ways that you could volunteer time and effort to help many of our 4,000 clients to weather the state-mandated “stay-at-home” directives to help lessen the virus spread. They created the Home Sewn Mask Drive that invited folks to make protective masks for our clients and staff. They also brainstormed Cards of Encouragement, soliciting homemade greetings also destined for clients shuttered at home.

Masks and cards began flowing in. Five weeks later, more than 2,500 cards and nearly 2,000 masks have arrived from across the country.

And they’re still coming in with no signs of stopping.

“It’s overwhelming,” Ginger said, smiling.

Some of the cards are coming from kids and teens, some are the fruits of a family effort, or a teambuilding activity among coworkers or classmates, and many come from a single card-creator, who simply wants to help. You can see examples here:

Distribution began as soon as the first cards and masks arrived. Our clients are overjoyed.

“Thank you for the letter that you sent, and the note,” wrote one client. “I wanted to let you know that I do appreciate you making this effort!”

Ginger Seybold takes another delivery of cards

“I’m an art teacher and when I see a hand drawn card like that, I know the time that went into it – that’s a special thing!” said another.

Another woman responded with a hand drawn thank you card of her own.

“Thank you so very much for your kind thoughts and sentiments. What a wonderful gift to find in my mail box. I have made you a card in return and hope it might make you smile. I’m not certain who you are, but I pray blessings on you now & always…especially in your older days (may ElderFriends show you the same goodness.)” Signed, “With a Thankful Heart.”

Ginger said the project accomplishes dual goals: It provides tangible way to reach out to participants who are facing increased isolation during this time, and it provides others a concrete way that they can help.

“We knew that with everyone self-isolating at home, feelings of loneliness would increase, and so would a desire to be of service,” Ginger said. “The Cards of Encouragement campaign seemed like the perfect way to harness that energy. The response has been more than we imagined and it’s a beautiful outpouring of creativity, empathy and kindness.

“We’re getting calls from folks who have received a card and want to let us know that getting that note from a stranger really made their day! That effort to reach out and connect is really meaningful for both the recipient and the card creators and we are just happy to be able to facilitate it.”

Home Care Aide Susana Sanchez deGomez

The Mask Drive and Cards of Encouragement programs will continue until we’ve delivered a card to each of our clients and provided masks to all who need them.

Thank you to all who’ve participated. You’ve brought some joy to many of our clients, and you’ve brightened our day, too!