Burlington County woman creates program to lift spirits of seniors during coronavirus

One Burlington County woman is spearheading a campaign to lift the spirits of those in senior living facilities who can’t have visitors due to coronavirus. 

Second grader Ella Hendrickson has been quite busy with her markers lately. Her handmade cards are going to seniors in Moorestown, New Jersey.

Carin Troy started the Send-a-Smile campaign, an effort to get anyone to write letters reminding the town’s elderly population that just because they can’t be close to them, doesn’t mean they aren’t with them. People are dropping their letters at the Moorestown Library.

“We are taking handmade, we are taking store bought, whatever everyone wants to do. The point is to get as many as we can out to seniors.”

FOX 29’s Alex George talked to Troy who was inspired to start this project because of the COVID-19 restrictions. Troy’s neighbor is unable to visit their father, who they used to see every other day. Now, no one is allowed near the home.

“My neighbor, her father is 95 and he just moved to the Masonic Village in Burlington. His wife passed away, he lives alone in an apartment, but they sequestered everyone there. So he’s lonely, so we sent him a card.” Troy explained.

When he said he loved the card, Troy realized that there are so many other seniors who might want a cute letter from a pen pal. It isn’t just limited to senior homes, Troy says she will also do independent drop offs too. The program makes it perfect for someone like Lori Walton’s 86-year-old father who she was able to see multiple times a week. Walton’s father lives on his own. This week, she didn’t want to miss time with her dad but she had to social distance so she stayed behind the storm door and called him on the phone.

“We were laughing, smiling, joking and just thinking it was really funny what we were doing. I think it made his day a little happier,” Walton said.

She says she misses him so much and that it is hard but now she registered him for a card because she believes it will really turn his day around.

For more information, please visit their Facebook page, here.

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