Instructions for Volunteers

Be sure to take pictures of your cards or letters! Click this link to fill out the volunteer submission form after you’ve sent your cards or letters to verify your volunteering.

You can earn volunteer hours when you send cards or letters! Each card or letter you send is worth 1/2 hour of volunteering. See instructions below for verifying your volunteer hours.

Getting Started

  1. Choose an assisted living or skilled nursing facility in your community from our list of participating facilities.
  2. Write a general card or a letter with the intent of becoming a pen pal with an older adult:
    • General cards will be used to brighten someone’s day. They will be given to individuals who likely will not be able to write back.
    • Pen pal letters can be written to create a valuable personal connection with an older adult. Please include a return address and stamp to allow for a response.
  3. Take a picture! Before you send your card or letter, be sure to take a picture to verify your volunteering. Whether you’re volunteering for certified hours or not, click the link to fill out the volunteer submission form. We’ll send a certification letter to those who need to verify their volunteer hours.

Tips for General Letter Writers

  • Consider addressing cards and letters with Dear friend.
  • Communicate empathy and hope.
  • Get creative, crafty, and colorful! Include drawings, jokes, and so on.
  • Refrain from giving health or medical advice.
  • Avoid religion unless the center specifies a religious affiliation.

Tips for Becoming a Pen Pal

  • Write “Pen Pal” on the back of the envelope to indicate it is a pen pal letter.
  • Ask questions about their memories and things they enjoy.
  • Talk about stories, traditions, and memories that are important to you.
  • Draw or describe something funny that happened to you.
  • Share your favorite holiday or tradition.

Resources

  • Out of cards or stamps? Punkpost is a site where you can send handwritten cards made by artists. You pick the card, type what you want to say, enter the address, and an artist will send your card to it’s destination!