Note-writing campaign brings joy to nursing home residents who can’t have visitors

This array of cards is among the hundreds being sent to residents of Parkway Pavilion Health and Rehabilitation Center in Enfield to show them a little love at a time when they can’t receive visitors due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Amidst a ban on visits from friends and family because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, residents at Parkway Pavilion—a local nursing home and rehabilitation center—are still receiving a little extra love on a daily basis these days.

And that’s all because of a heartfelt note-writing campaign organized by Mary Ann Turner, chairwoman of the Republican Town Committee.

Turner said she got the idea while dropping off face masks for the nursing home on Enfield Street on April 9. She asked Kelly Koretz, the director of admissions for Parkway, about other ways she could help out.

Turner created a flyer for a note-writing campaign, which she called “Send A Little Love,” and started publicizing it on Facebook on April 13. She said she was partially inspired by her mother, who loved receiving mail when she lived in a nursing home.

Her flyer reminds people that “Parkway residents are not able to have visitors, and you can make a big difference with a card and a stamp.”

She asks them to “write a short note and your card will be given to a resident, which will bring a smile and a little love.”

Although Turner first pitched the idea to members of the Republican Town Committee—who’ve written almost 500 cards—she is encouraging anyone to send a card.

Turner said she dug out close to 300 Hallmark cards from her collection and encouraged people to add personal notes and sign their names. She said some people’s children have also gotten involved.

Enfield’s Republican of the Year, Linda Degray, mailing letters to Parkway Pavilion

Turner’s goal is to have 1,000 or more cards sent to Parkway residents, and the note-writing campaign is ongoing.

Each of Parkway’s roughly 110 residents has received a card, Koretz said, adding that some have received two. Staff at the nursing home read the cards to residents who have visual impairments and hang them up in patients’ rooms.

“They are just happy,” Koretz said. “I’ve had a couple just go, ‘We’re loved, we’re loved,’ and that is the whole reason, just so they know that they are loved.”

Although the note-writing campaign is not a pen pal effort, Koretz said, Parkway would be open to the idea of eventually establishing back-and-forth communication between residents and the community.

Parkway enables residents to communicate with loved ones via FaceTime on the facility’s iPads, but Koretz described the cards as “one more point of happiness” that the residents get throughout the day.’

Cards can be sent to: Parkway Pavilion, c/o Kelly Koretz, 1157 Enfield St., Enfield, CT 06082.

Published by the Journal Inquirer on April 28th, 2020.

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