A project that carried out visits to elderly people in long-stay institutions had to suspend the kindness because of the new pandemic coronavirus, in Maranhão. Volunteers took donations, gave theatrical presentations, beauty treatments and talked with the elderly. With isolation, the group found an alternative form of nurturing in letters.
“We were unable to make the visits. The initial idea came from the director of one of these institutions. We embraced her idea and it is working very well. We are taking letters and gifts for the elderly,” said civil engineer Ariana Gomes.
The first step was to get the list with the names and profile of each elderly person in a particular institution. This list is passed on to the volunteers, who get in contact with the Bem Vividos project. Then, the volunteer chooses the elderly person to write to.
“If the volunteer will only send a letter, he can send it by email. If he will send a letter and a gift, we facilitate a meeting. In the letters, we talk about the importance that the elderly have for society for all that he has already taught to other people, for everything he has contributed and built as a citizen, showing that he has value,” he explained.
“We send words of hope, which can help you in this time of so much insecurity due to the pandemic, and we don’t miss the opportunity to talk about God’s love,” he continued.
So far, more than 100 letters have been delivered. Friends call on people to increase this number and reach more seniors. According to the organization, they are eager to receive the mail and are moved by the displays of affection.
Ariana evaluates the action as indescribable. For her, being able to contribute with the smiles they show when opening letters and gifts, is a caress in the soul. “The expressions they make, the hug of thanks they give us, it’s all priceless and makes me sure that we’re doing the right thing, in the right way and with the right motivation,” he said.
Pharmacist Thamara Guimarães said that the project is a life purpose. She is among the volunteers who share kindness with the elderly. “I always liked the elderly. I got to know the project through my friend Ariana and I soon became interested. I always write letters and put together a souvenir according to their hobbies. Usually, when we choose the elderly, we already know in advance what they do. like,” he said.
For Thamara, gratitude and happiness sum up the feeling of participating in the action. She said she feels honored to be part of the project and to bring a little joy and affection to the elderly. “Knowing that we can brighten someone’s day with kind words makes our lives worth living.”