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Hundreds of letters sent to Sacramento senior home to 'spread some joy'

A senior living facility in Sacramento has received hundreds of handwritten letters from complete strangers, all in an effort to uplift isolated seniors.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Hundreds of handwritten letters have been sent to seniors at The Woodlake, an assisted living facility in Sacramento.

Letters Against Isolation is a program two sisters in Boston started. On their website, Saffron and Shreya Patel wrote, "during the current Covid-19 crisis, we’ve been doing our best to support our self-isolating grandparents by calling them every day. We realized that without visitors or the ability to interact with the wider world, many senior citizens may be growing lonely."

The program is meant to "spread some joy" by writing letters to residents of assisted living facilities and care homes. 

When The Woodlake program supervisor Tanysha Borromeo found out about Letters Against Isolation, she said she had to bring it to her senior family in Sacramento. 

"We’ve gotten probably over 300 letters from people all over the United States," Borromeo said. "Our residents just love reading these letters."

89-year-old Connie Herrell lives at The Woodlake and said the simple letters from strangers have brightened her days. 

"I appreciate reading them," Herrell said. "I want to help other people quarantined in this situation were living in."

Originally from Virginia, Herrell enjoys receiving the letters, but also writing them. She even found herself a few pen pals in her home state. 

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Credit: The Woodlake
Connie Herrell says she enjoys writing the letters as much as receiving them.

"She is my avid Letters Against Isolation writer," Borromeo said. "We've received letters from Virginia, so she has written back to them telling them where she graduated college, so it's a great program so she can reminisce on some of her past lives in Virginia."

Borromeo said the letters have brought a lot of life and positivity into the community. 

"It's fun to hear the buzz in the dining room and in the common areas in the community when they're talking about the letters," she said.

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