by Laura Bednar
Lockdowns during the pandemic left many people feeling alone and isolated, especially the elderly. “Letters for Rose” is a nonprofit organization that sends letters to nursing home residents to alleviate some of that loneliness.
Hudson High School student Numa Lodhi started a Letters for Rose chapter at HHS, which joins the other 400-plus chapters around the world.
“I’ve always been interested in giving back to the community,” Numa said. “[Students] can learn from the elderly, and they can learn from us.”
According to lettersforrose.org, the organization began when teen volunteers at a nursing home couldn’t visit residents during the pandemic. The majority of volunteers who now write letters are between the ages of 14 and 18.
Numa said after an initial meeting of the HHS chapter in March, 20 students were interested, with some already bringing finished letters to send. “It’s rewarding to see because I put so much work into establishing the club,” said Numa. “Seeing people show up made my day.”
In addition to students who write letters, there are several leadership positions within the club. Chapter head Numa ensures everything runs smoothly and sets up regular meetings. The ambassador will recruit people for leadership positions, recruit students to write letters and work on fundraising.
Numa explained the outreach coordinators keep regular contact with nursing homes and make sure transportation is set up to send letters to the residents. The transportation/verification team will read the letters to ensure appropriateness and physically transport the letters either through mail or by hand-delivering them. There will also be a social media position to manage the chapter’s Instagram page and connect with people online who show interest in participating.
Though letters are the main contribution, Numa said students are welcome to send handmade or digital art pieces, poetry or any other handcrafted piece.
“I would love to see someone with sculpting skills make pottery for residents,” she said.
Looking ahead, Numa said if the pandemic continues its current downward trajectory, she would like to have students travel to nursing homes and interact with the residents in person. In the meantime, she will continue to increase chapter membership with the hope of beginning a pen-pal relationship with the elderly writing back to students.
“I’m excited to see the chapter grow and create more connections with the elderly,” she said. ∞