Aldergrove seven-year-old Mackenzie Cerf is taking part in a United Way initiative to connect kids with isolated seniors in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. (UGLM/Special to the Star)

Postcards from kids in Aldergrove to uplift isolated seniors amidst COVID

United Way launched Intergenerational Postcard Club in August, matching up kids with older pen pals

For the seven Aldergrove seniors receiving personalized messages from children in this community, what is soon to arrive in the mail will provide a glimpse back in time.

United Way Lower Mainland (UWLM) has launched an Intergenerational Postcard Club this August, where handwritten correspondence will be the main mode of communication.

Nine children arrived at the athletic park with a parent Thursday, Aug. 6 to decorate their first postcard to their older pen pal.

“For many of them, it was their first time ever writing a postcard,” said Aldergrove organizer Val Hiebert, an United Way community builder.

“Some of them did not know what a postcard was,” she remarked.

Families arrived at a picnic shelter full of newly-purchased art kits, blank postcards, and postage stamps paid for by the non-profit.

RELATED: Nurses make house calls in United Way pilot program in Langley

Young members decorated the front of the postcard with the artwork of their choosing.

Seven-year-old Mackenzie Cerf drew a rainbow overlooking a smiling bunny rabbit with two carrots at its side.

On the back of her note she began a conversation.

“Some children told their pen pal about their pet, others let their new friends know what they were feeling or all the fun things they did this summer,” Hiebert explained.

Bringing back the lost art of snail-mail was just one positive of the United Way pilot program, Hiebert said – the main benefit being battling the isolation Aldergrove seniors are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Some of these seniors have been keeping their distance from people,” Hiebert said.

“Even having a postcard connection can continue to build resilience here in Aldergrove – throughout the generations.”

Aldergrove’s Postcard Club! Connecting seniors and kids in the community! ❤️❤️❤️ email Val from United Way at VALH@UWLM.CA to register. Please share.

Posted by Shortreed Community Elementary School on Wednesday, July 22, 2020

RELATED: United Way looking for volunteers to help those isolated in Lower Mainland

One senior, who moved in May, was so eager to be involved in the postcard project that she reached out from Vancouver.

“My heart is still in Aldergrove,” she told the organizer.

Hiebert let her join – because “her heart is here,” she told the Star.

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Aldergrove parents accompanied their children to create postcards on Thursday, Aug. 6 at Aldergrove Athletic Park, as part of United Way Lower Mainland’s new Intergenerational Postcard Club project. The mail will be sent off this week to their senior pen pals. (UGLM/Special to the Star)

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