New club writes letters to senior citizens in time of need


Courtesy of Jen Austin

Communicating in the old fashioned way — Sophomore Jen Austin begins writing a letter to local senior citizens. Stuck at home due to COVID-19, many nursing home residents appreciate receiving these letters.

Sharon Olkovsky, Features Editor

Farmington High School (FHS) students will have the opportunity to be involved in a new community outreach club where they can exchange letters with senior citizens. Due to COVID-19 many senior citizens are stuck at home and lack communication in their everyday lives, now they will be able to write to and receive letters from teenagers in their community in the new club called Pen Pals.

COVID-19 has affected people across the globe. Although people of all ages have been impacted, senior citizens have been affected the most due to their age putting them at a high risk for contracting the virus. Many senior citizens are unhappy with their quality of life during this pandemic, as they are not able to go out, see their friends and family, and participate in many of the hobbies and activities they enjoy.

Sophomore Jen Austin had the idea to create this club during summer in quarantine when she saw stories on the news about many seniors citizens who were cut off from their family and friends and were extremely lonely during this pandemic.

“My heart went out to senior citizens. Many of them couldn’t even leave their rooms. My mom and I brainstormed safe ways to help those who were most isolated. It was clear that communication and connection was important. I came up with letter writing…connecting the old fashion way,” Austin said.

Austin has reached out to several nursing homes in the area, in attempts of creating a system in which every FHS student in this club can be paired up with a senior citizen in a nursing home to exchange letters with. Fortunately, many local nursing homes in the area were receptive to the idea and are working with Austin, as well as the teacher advisor for this club, English teacher Kaitlin McIntyre.

Austin works towards making this club happen with the intentions of providing both groups, FHS students, and nursing home residents with a new friendship. She believes that this club and program will put a smile on someone’s face and benefit the community as a whole.

Pen Pals, is a new idea to FHS that has never been tackled before. Although there are many community service clubs and opportunities at FHS, this club has the unique aspect of personally connecting with the person/group you are helping and working with. Students can expect a new friendship through a form of communication that most are not used to in this modern age.

Pen Pals is looking for new members and more participation. If you’re looking to join or have any questions, feel free to contact Jen Austin at [email protected]