In the last year, 13-year old Jacob Cramer has been recruiting people nationwide to write personal letters from the heart aimed at cheering up the elderly who may feel alone.
Since July 2013, Jacob has delivered loads of handwritten letters to seniors at assisted living centers and senior centers throughout the country.
Initially he recruited his eighth grade classmates at Ballard Brady Middle School to write the personal missives. The enthusiastic response propelled him to design and launch a Web site, along with a social media campaign to rally strangers too to make a difference in the lives of elderly persons who may be isolated and cutoff from communication.
Calling his operation Love for the Elderly, Cramer told us he has always been inspired to reach out to seniors .
Cramer said letters seemed like the right thing to do for many reasons: they’re personal; they involve a lot of thought and human interaction and they mean a lot to the recipient.
In a world of emails, Tweets and Facebook postings, we caught up with this young teen to ask him what inspired him to embrace what is increasingly becoming a dying art of communication and embrace the power of the written word to send personal messages of compassion to seniors.
Q. Where are you getting funding and support for your letter-writing campaign?
A. When I got started, I just wrote letters to dozens and dozens of companies and every organization I could think of that would want to support a letter-writing program for seniors. To date he has several organizations that are onboard as partners to promote Cramer’s efforts. They include: Design Mantic, The Caregiver Resource Network, and CaregiversForHome. I also turned to social media to get the word out. @Lovetheelderly has 600 followers, in just three months.
Q. Describe the mission and vision you have for Love for the Elderly.
A. So many elderly citizens in our nation have no one to care for them, no one to look after them and no one to love them. We are here to change that. We’re a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing happiness to the elderly.
Q. What inspired you?
A. I’ve always wanted to help people and give back. I strive to touch the lives of the elderly, because I feel they could greatly benefit from the tender, loving kindness of receiving letters from people who care.
Q. How did you get started?
A. At first I came up with the idea of writing anonymous letters of kindness. At first it seemed kind of odd, writing letters to people you’ve never met, but then I realized how it really wasn’t weird to want to give anonymous love to people who needed it. I first called it “Anonymous Love,” but I quickly changed it to Love for the Elderly, because that is what it is all about, sending love through the power of the pen.
Q. How can others participate and write a letter through Love for the Elderly?
A. We are very grateful for the kindness and generosity of those who write letters to the elderly. We ask that they follow certain requirements. You can send your letter via mail and recently we added email because we think that will help grow this and make it more accessible.
• Letters must be legible or typed.
• Letters may be on lined notebook paper, printer paper, colored copy paper, or construction paper. • Cards sent by mail must be sent in an envelope, not package.
• Send cards to:
Love For The Elderly
42 Pepper Creek Dr.
Pepper Pike, OH 44124
• You must live in the United States in order to mail a letter in. • You may send up to 20 letters/cards at a time.
• Submissions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org OR sent to us through our Online Submission Form. http://lovefortheelderly.weebly.com/online-submission-form.html
• There is no limit on how many cards you may send at a time.
• You may live anywhere in the world to submit a letter by email.
• Please choose a legible font when typing your letter. Especially with macular degeneration and other age-related eye problems in many seniors, we hate for the fonts to be unreadable.
• We also welcome school groups who want to write letters.
Q. What’s next for you?
A. I’m hoping that more and more people will start writing the letters and we can be sending them all over the country.
For more information, visit lovefortheelderly.cf
Write a letter today!
PLEASE HELP JACOB TO HELP THE ELDERLY BY SHARING THIS INFORMATION USING THE LINKS BELOW. THANK YOU!