Reaching Out During Difficult Times


by Clare de Souza, student leader

For the past year, I have been facilitating a “Letters to Seniors” weekly volunteer group with CityHousing Hamilton and Shalom Village long-term care home. Student Open Circles developed these placements because of the increased social isolation our seniors are experiencing due to COVID-19, and it is our hope to help alleviate some of this loneliness through hand-written cards and letters to cheer up those in our community. It is so heart-warming to take part in such an enriching volunteer experience. We received feedback from those we serve who let us know our letters are bringing smiles to their faces during difficult times. One senior left us a voicemail saying that a letter she received was very relatable and brightened her day, especially since her son had recently passed away. As a volunteer, it is rewarding to know that I can take part in making someone’s day better in a way that keeps myself and others safe during this pandemic.

"Over the past few months CityHousing staff received numerous phone calls from the seniors who are receiving letters and short videos, thanking the writers for their words of wisdom, and appreciating the laughter they experienced when participating in the activities."
- Brenda Silverthorne, CityHousing Hamilton, Community Development Coordinator