With nursing homes limiting visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic, many residents in long-term care facilities are experiencing feelings of isolation and loneliness.
“Many people would like to help, but are unsure of what to do,” said Matt Atwood, Catholic Charities West Virginia (CCWVa) Southern Regional Director. “We are recruiting volunteers to help send some happiness to a local nursing home.”
CCWVa is collaborating with Mercer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Bluefield to begin a Pen Pal Program. The program’s goal is to connect volunteers in the community with pen pals who are living in the nursing center.
CCWVa will match volunteers with a pen pal. Individuals interested in becoming a volunteer for the Pen Pal Program can call (304) 425-4306 or stop by 203 S. 7th Street in Princeton for more information.
In addition to brightening the residents’ days with cards and letters, CCWVa also hopes to kick off the program by delivering care packages to the nursing home. Donations for care package items are being accepted through November 20.
Suggested items to donate for the care packages include: stationery, magazines (for both men and women), tissues, coloring books, markers, devotionals, CDs of gospel music, CDs of 50’s and 60’s music, snacks (chocolate, cheese puffs, crackers, etc.), chapstick, lotion, nail polish, socks, watches, small artificial plants, knickknacks, pillows, blankets, stuffed animals.
Donations for the care packages can be mailed or dropped off to:
Catholic Charities West Virginia
Attn: Pen Pal Program
203 S. 7th Street
Princeton, WV 24740
To learn more about CCWVa’s Pen Pal Program, call (304) 425-4306 ext. 4. Click here to sign up to be a pen pal.