Paige Pearson didn’t hesitate to serve the dear neighbor when COVID-19 prevented her from volunteering at Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland, California. Prior to the outbreak, Paige spent many hours with seniors in the long-term care facility, visiting with residents and helping care for them. When the county announced the shelter in place order this past March, student volunteers were prevented from visiting the facility.
“Most of the residents were not able to leave their small rooms,” Paige recalled. “I became concerned about them and how they might cope with isolation. I realized letters from students might cheer them up, and I knew Carondelet would support and help me.”
Ms. Kate Carey, Paige’s Relgious Studies teacher, helped her reach out to other students and invite them to write letters to Mercy residents. Paige created a signup form where students put their name next to each resident. After collecting the letters, she scanned them and sent them digitally to the care facility where they were printed and distributed.
Paige is grateful she was able to maintain her special connection with Mercy and give back to the community during such challenging times. She hopes the letters gave the residents hope and made them smile.