Letters Sent with Love
The Jewish Home will be spreading good cheer throughout the Home this holiday season as it continues its #NotesofLove campaign, which encourages friends, relatives, and the public to send in homemade greetings for residents eager to stay connected to the community during the ongoing restrictions caused by COVID-19.
#NotesofLove launched earlier this year with great success. At the Jewish Home, keeping residents healthy has meant instituting safeguards that have included restrictions on visits with friends and family. As the pandemic stretches into its 10th month, staff have been working to identify ways to keep up communications with the residents' loved ones and with the community at large. The Jewish Home has responded with a wide range of wonderful activities including #NotesofLove, which delivers warm wishes from the community directly to residents' doors.
This outreach effort is exactly as advertised: Community members are invited to write notes, draw pictures, and make cards for Jewish Home residents to express their love and affection. When the Jewish Home first rolled out #NotesofLove five months ago, the response was overwhelming.
"People from all over the city were writing, and you could see residents' faces light up when we would bring them the notes," recalls Stacy Orbach, the Jewish Home's director of volunteer services. "It's been such a hit that we're extending the campaign to create #NotesofLove, Holiday Edition."
The beauty of the initiative, Stacy notes, is that anyone can participate. "Whether it's schools, synagogues, or families—we welcome all contributions," Stacy says.
The "notes" bring joy to residents and can help infuse the Jewish Home with holiday spirit during this challenging year. They are also, Stacy points out, a fun way for community members to get creative. "We recently received some ‘rocks of love'—a woman whose mother lived at the Home until she passed away several years ago sent us these beautiful, hand-painted rocks, each with a different inspirational saying on it. It was such a lovely gesture to make our residents feel good," she says.
The holiday outreach is already well underway. "I've been contacted by a number of schools and youth groups that plan to mail us cards and letters," Stacy says. "The seventh graders from Wilshire Blvd. Temple are going to send Chanukah gifts to our nursing care residents. But we're looking for even more people to get in the #NotesofLove spirit—there are eight nights of Chanukah, and that's a lot of love that needs to be spread!"
As Stacy sees it, people's enthusiasm for the campaign has been a bright spot in an otherwise dreary year. "The pandemic has interrupted a lot of things, but it didn't change how the community feels about the Jewish Home," she says proudly. "We've asked for them to engage with us, and they've really stepped up."
#NotesofLove can be sent directly to the Jewish Home's Eisenberg Village campus, c/o Stacy Orbach, at 18855 Victory Blvd., Reseda, CA 91335.