“It’s always nice to get mail.”

Those are the words of Neil Currie, a Meadow Lake senior who resides at the Golden West Manor, in response to a new initiative launched by the Meadow Lake Housing Authority.

Last week, Meadow Lake Housing announced Letters Against Loneliness, an effort designed to help reduce loneliness and isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since the pandemic began, our first priority has been ensuring the safety of our seniors,” explained Meadow Lake Housing Authority manager Barb Arnold. “Visitors have been restricted to essential services only, common areas have been closed and many residents are isolating in their rooms. While these changes are important measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, they can also impact the mental health of our seniors. We hope the Letters Against Loneliness campaign will show seniors their community is thinking of them and help to brighten their day.”

Anyone interested in taking part in the campaign is welcome to write a one-way, heartfelt letter or note that will bring a smile to the face of the recipient.

“We just announced this initiative late last week, so it’s still very early in the process,” Arnold said. “Recipients of the letters would all be local seniors who live in our four buildings – Golden West Manor, Villas 1 and 2, and Meadow Manor – but it’s not an idea we can take full credit for. We got the idea from the housing authority in North Battleford. We’re always looking for ways to help out our seniors, and figured this would be a great idea for Meadow Lake.”

Arnold went on to say Meadow Lake is known as being a community that always pulls together.

“That’s why I believe the people of Meadow Lake will roll with this,” she added. “Anyone who takes part will feel good knowing they did something nice for someone else.”

Throughout its four buildings, the Meadow Lake Housing Authority has 107 units, so the more people who can write letters, Arnold said, the merrier.

“Kids can even send local seniors their drawings,” Arnold noted. “What senior wouldn’t love to have a drawing he or she can hang on the fridge? I have a strong feeling this campaign will be embraced, especially because we are Meadow Lake and Meadow Lake always does good things for its people.”

Currie, meanwhile, said he looks forward to receiving a letter.

“It would be great,” he said. “I’m sitting here waiting for the mail right now, and to learn about this idea is just amazing. It’s kind of tough for seniors to get out these days and, when we do, we need to be careful. Any little thing people send us helps us to feel better is greatly appreciated.”

Letters can be addressed “To a Special Person” and can be placed in the Meadow Lake Housing Authority office drop box or submitted digitally at meadowlakeha@gov.sk.ca.

by Phil Ambroziak