Myrna, affectionately known as “May” to her friends and family, is a 60-year-old participant who has a 15-year-old youth pen pal named Elliot.
Why did you apply to be in the Letters to Seniors Program?
“I was curious about the activities Volunteer Grandparents offers […] I was so ecstatic because it’s about pen pal writing. It reminds me of the good old days (internet was not a thing then).”
How has this program impacted the way you might perceive a different generation?
“Though we have an age gap, interacting was not really a problem. What I did was go down to Elliot’s level. In this way, I can easily understand his generation. Like, I give comments on the kind of book he reads, [and] I research the list of authors he likes the most.”
How has this program added to your emotional wellbeing?
“Honestly, I am [very] attached to my pen pal. It excites me once I receive a letter from him… what is his letter all about, his reaction [to] the last letter I sent.”
How has your involvement in this program made an impact on your daily life?
“It’s an opportunity to communicate through letters, especially to someone very very much younger than me. This is also a chance to explore and be involved in today’s generation. It made me realize that adults like me should be aware of what is going on in the mind of a youth”.
Do you have a favourite memory of your pen pal?
“When he confided his problem [to me]. Wow! [I felt] that he trusted me, [and] I felt that I am an important person in his life. To think he does not even know my surname […] I was so elated.”
Is there anything you have learned through your correspondence with your pen pal?
“I learned […] how to fit into this young and modern generation [and] to be friendly so that he will always be eased and comfortable and will see me as his reliable grandma.”
If you are interested in participating in the Letters to Seniors Program, please email us at email@example.com.