Recruiting middle and high school students for Letter to Elders

Friday, September 4, 2020

Opportunity for youth to connect
with Senior Citizens through the
written word.

The past 6 months has created tremendous challenges for our aging population as most services and programs moved to online access. 

The reality is that many seniors do not have access to computers and those that do, are not all at the technological level to download programs such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom. 

This transfers to cell phone use as well as FaceTime and similar programs remain a mystery to a population that is more comfortable with developing their relationships in person, through US Postal mail and accessing entertainment through television, not internet.

Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center is busy developing means of reaching seniors in their homes, to reduce the ill effects that social isolation has created. 

With this in mind, we are most fortunate to have two students, brother and sister team of Ishan and Ishita Bansal, step forward and create an amazing new program called Letter to Elders

Ishan and Ishita have developed a registration process for middle and high school students to apply to become pen pals to seniors in our community. In one week, they have acquired nine participants, eagerly awaiting their assigned individual that will be provided through the senior center.

The following is the recruitment ad that Ishan shared with classmates returning to school:

“Do you want to give back to the community but only have time to offer? Do you want to help support and bring joy to the senior community? 
"As the global pandemic continues, there are seniors across the country without loved ones to call and cannot visit them in these conditions. 
"For these seniors, isolation is just as hard and is becoming a growing problem. Letters to Elders is an organization connecting these seniors with youth across the area, building connections and ending isolation one letter at a time. 
"Volunteers get to intimately connect with seniors, learn new things, and earn service hours, all through a traditional pen pal program (either letter or email).”

If you know of a student that would like to participate, have them contact Ishan and Ishita directly or register HERE or contact us at

If you know an adult that would benefit from a new friendship, one in which regular letters will be exchanged, have them contact the senior center at 206-365-1536. All contact will be via US Postal Service only, no in-person visits and students are mandated to refrain from sharing any contact information.

--Theresa La Croix, Director, Shoreline - Lake Forest Park Senior Center


Unknown September 6, 2020 at 6:30 AM  

Sounds like a wonderful program and I'm sure many senior citizens in Shoreline will benefit by having the letter contact.

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