Olivia is part of our Letters to Seniors program, and while she started out by sending letters to seniors in care homes, she now has a senior pen pal named Karen. We asked her some questions about our program and how she’s liking it so far.

Why did you apply to be in the Letters to Seniors program?

“During the beginning of COVID, I was in the midst of completing my [volunteer hours]. [….] I decided to make the most of it and I took the time to make as nice of letters as I could. [….] Each one had a little of my heart in them as I really tried to make them as meaningful as I could. I hoped that I could make someone’s day [….] Maybe it got someone another day through the pandemic.”

How has your involvement in this program made an impact on your daily life?

“It’s a break from the stress of my responsibilities to just sit and see what someone else has been up to. I like reading about what made her happy that day or what tomorrow’s plans are. [….] Sometimes I’ll be doing something exhilarating or new, and all I can think about is how I’m going to tell Karen all about it over the weekend.”

How has this program impacted the way you might perceive and interact with different generations?

“The biggest change in mindset that participating in Volunteer Grandparents has given me is knowing that no matter how different our generations are, most people, at heart, are the same. [….] We’re all just working towards making some contributions to the world, whatever and wherever that may be.”

Is there anything you have learned through your correspondence with your pen pal?

“One of the best things I learned through this experience is that sometimes the most exceptional accomplishments are the things you do when not expecting a reward. A lot of the time we work hard for the things that get us further up the ladder, gives us awards, or earns money, but the most rewarding feeling is from the things we do for someone else, simply for the sake of doing it. The joy of knowing your impact on someone else’s life is more gratifying than anything material.”

If you are interested in participating in the Letters to Seniors Program, please email us at info@volunteergrandparents.ca.