Connecting with local seniors

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The USA Healthcare Pen Pal Club’s first letters and artwork came courtesy of St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Cullman. (USA Healthcare)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The residents of USA Healthcare’s Woodland Village in Cullman are making new friends despite ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. The recently launched USA Healthcare Pen Pal Club is giving residents at Woodland Village a much needed morale boost as the pandemic lingers on.

The first letters came courtesy of St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Cullman from the kindergarten and first-grade classes. Emy Hogland and Lori Warden’s students wrote sweet letters and drew brightly colored artwork that was delivered late last week to Woodland residents.

Stephanie Coleman, who oversees the USA Healthcare Pen Pal Club, said, “I got the idea from a little girl who is an ambassador for a group that is against bullying. These little girls have projects they do, and the project she decided to do was to become a pen pal to one of our residents at Woodland Haus.”

Coleman thought it would be a great way to put smiles on the faces of all the residents in all USA Healthcare facilities. She came up with the USA Healthcare Pen Pal Club, and the classes at St. Paul’s Lutheran School were happy to help.

“If you’ve seen the pictures, they are precious,” she smiled. “I am sure the residents absolutely ate that up!”

Coleman hopes others in the community will join in on spreading the gift of love, happiness and friendship with USA Healthcare residents, and the opportunity is not limited to a classroom of young children.

“Anybody! Anybody who wants to participate, I would welcome all age groups. Kids, adults or whomever that would like to write, please do so,” she said. “The more we have, the better we make these residents feel through these next few months. I don’t see this getting better over the next couple of months, especially with flu season and everything else.”

With the holiday season upon us and family visitation in long-term care facilities still limited, area seniors could especially use the interaction with the community. Coleman hopes to expand the program, and anyone who would like to participate can reach out to her directly.

Coleman can be reached at srcoleman@usahealthcare.net or 256-339-0534.

USA Healthcare facilities in Cullman County include Cullman Health & Rehab Center, The Folsom Center, Woodland Village and Woodland Haus.

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Christy Perry

christy@cullmantribune.com