JGS Letters of Love

Cut off from their loved ones, many families across the nation have not seen the elderly who reside in long-term care facilities. Because of the strict enforcement of quarantine rules, residents of long-term care facilities are forced to isolate themselves in their nursing homes, unable to accept visits from family. This no visitor policy, although very necessary, has definitely weakened the spirits of the residents.

That’s where people like Longmeadow resident Leigh McGrale Vengco and her three daughters, Lily, Grace and Teia, come in. Leigh has experience as a clinical social worker and has worked in long-term care units as well as nursing facilities. She knew that she had to do something to help the elderly who were stuck in these facilities such as JGS Lifecare, since they were all alone and away from their families. 

Eventually, Leigh came up with the idea of sending cards filled with positivity and love from kids in every age group to the residents of the Leavitt Family Jewish Home, a nursing home part of JGS Lifecare. In a decision to get the community involved, cards flooded into Leigh’s house, and in a little over a week, there were over a hundred. “I believe having such contact from the outside world, especially from children with their creative and uplifting words and drawings, could help put a smile on someone’s face or maybe it would just be a nice way to let them know they’re being thought about,” said Leigh in a press release from JGS Lifecare. “Maybe it will comfort them in this time of such uncertainty.”

The cards consisted of drawings, poems, riddles, and many kind and heart-warming messages. The residents of the Leavitt Family Jewish Home were all very grateful for what the Vengo family had organized, and for all the kids who participated. “It is so nice to know that the children are thinking of us,” remarked Lois, a resident of the home. 

In Florida, a similar thing happened when university students wrote cards and delivered them to long-term care facilities as a part of their class assignment. Young adults and children are recognizing that they can bring happiness to the elderly in these facilities through showing their kindness. With the thoughts of their own grandmothers and grandfathers in mind, the younger generations are also doing their part in the fight against COVID-19.

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