One of our local students now at Yale, Jacob Cramer, ‘22 (Ben Franklin), has developed a wonderful project we can all do from our kitchen tables on the actual Day of Service, Saturday, May 9, that is guaranteed to put needed smiles on the faces of seniors isolated in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities all over the world. The project grows out of a nonprofit Jacob started after his grandfather’s death.
Because this is the 12th year of Yale Day of Service, a wonderful target would be for each of us to write 12 letters on May 9. Following is Jacob’s summary of how this works. (He says he and his father now wait 72 hours to handle, with gloves on, the letters sent in, with the eventual distribution to senior communities around the globe assisted by Greater Cleveland Volunteers)
As a Cleveland Yalie or Yale alum, parent, spouse or friend, you can write a letter telling a stranger about yourself, maybe say a joke or a riddle and let them know that they are loved.
It might feel difficult at first to be writing to someone you don’t know. Some advice: just think about the kind of card you’d like to receive!
1. Letters must be legible (large print) and handwritten. No worries if you’re not artistic– make your card as what you’d like to receive.
2. Avoid religion. Please refrain from including anything religious in your letters, such as religious quotes, words like “God,” etc.
3. Exclude the date (day, month, and year).
4. Embrace creativity! Recipients love it when the letters are personal. We encourage you to make your letters detailed, thoughtful and heartfelt.
5. Be kind and thoughtful (more than talking about yourself). This is a one-way letter exchange, meaning you will not receive a letter back, so no-reciprocation-attached is part of the beauty of your act of kindness, and the recipients don’t feel burdened by feeling obligated or being unable to respond.
6. Envelope your letters if you can! It’s so much nicer to open up an enveloped card, don’t you think? If you’re sending more than 1 letter, leave your enveloped letters unsealed and unstamped and put them in a larger envelope or box to send.
7. Mail to:
Love for the Elderly
P.O. Box 24248
Cleveland, Ohio 44124
Betsy Sullivan ‘74