East High School students hope to become pen pals with seniors during coronavirus outbreak

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The coronavirus has interrupted the lives of a lot of people. That’s especially true for senior citizens.

Senior living homes throughout Siouxland have put a hold on visitors and outings to protect their residents from the virus.

It all started with the intent to lift spirits. The student council advisor from East High School said her students have been feeling really down since schools been out. She introduced the idea of creating a pen-pal relationship for her students to communicate with senior citizens who may also be feeling down during this time.

“I wrote two letters to two different people, and hopefully they write back and we start that pen pal relationship,” Ella Voloshen, East High student council president said.

East High student council members chose the residents of Bickford Senior Living to write to. They sent letters, drew pictures and are now waiting to hear back from what they hope will be their new pen pals.

“We tell about ourselves a little bit and then ask about their background, where are they from, ask about their interests… Random acts of kindness are really important, especially in hard times like this and I’m hoping they can find a friendship, and hopefully, maybe they can mentor some of us too,” Voloshen said.

“I hope it just brightens their day and makes them realize they’re not alone in this even though it seems like physically they are. There’s no visitors coming to see them, but us as a people, as a whole, as kids in the community, we are there for them,” student council member Sydney Helt said.

Michelle Pick is the student council advisor at East High. After every student wrote their letter, she drove around town to collect them and deliver them to the residents at Bickford.

“I want them right now to have a sense of purpose still. Just because we’re sitting at home and were not really able to go anywhere physically, we still can make a difference in the world around us,” Pick said.

She said she hopes this project will benefit her students and the residents at Bickford Senior Living.

“I just really want them to know that we’re thinking of them, and I want them to have something to think about during this time when they don’t have all the other options available to them,” Pick added.

Student council members said they want seniors living at Bickford to know that they’re not alone during this time.

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