During the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, DreamCatchers aims to continue serving our vulnerable populations at risk. To do this, we have launched our “Kindness and Compassion” Initiative to help combat the current tide of social isolation facing the senior population.
The brunt of Covid-19 will be borne by the poor, elderly, and sick and it is up to us to ensure they are not left behind.Former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy
This nationwide initiative invites individuals and communities everywhere to take part in creating a solution to help alleviate the impact of social isolation on senior well-being through one of two primary methods:
1. Virtual “Pen Pal” Program
an interactive technology-driven program involving virtual conversations and shared experiences between seniors and volunteers, in the form of a “pen-pal” exchange. Options for conversation: video, email, or text.
2. Video (or Physical) Greeting Card Program
videos or homemade greeting cards (depending on technology availability) created by volunteers to be sent to nursing homes, senior living, and assisted living facilities to increase outside interaction and entertainment for those in isolation.
More immediately, like everyone else, older people face loneliness, and research shows that loneliness and social isolation can damage our health. As the coronavirus numbers rise, so too may that loneliness. Technology can help reduce feelings of loneliness and even improve health.Naomi Cahn
Our unique structure already promotes dynamic interactions between the young and old across the nation, putting DreamCatchers in a unique position to address this growing issue on a wider scale. Furthermore, these initiatives, primarily targeted at student volunteers, will also serve to help keep students active in their community and engaged at a time when they, too, feel socially disconnected.
We welcome anyone and everyone to join with us on this initiative to spread joy and combat loneliness during this critical time. Because all efforts related to the Kindness and Compassion Initiative are virtual, location does not matter when determining if you are able to engage.
Please click the buttons below to sign up for either program and help us spread kindness and compassion to those who need it most:
Virtual Pen Pal Program
In this program, we will be matching seniors with volunteers to take part in a “pen pal” program- using technology instead of letters! We will be in touch once you fill out the form to set you up with your pen pal match. Once you are matched, volunteers will send the first intro video, text, or email (depending on mutual preferences) to their senior pen pal, who will then respond, and so on.
*Those near to each other in location will be matched first (though not necessary, as it is all virtual), in case you can meet up in person when this is all over.
Video Greeting Cards & Entertainment
Please sign up to Receive if you work at a nursing home, senior living, assisted living, or similar community that could benefit from some entertainment by volunteers wishing your seniors the best during this difficult time. Please sign up to Send if you’d like to send a video of encouragement, perhaps incorporating instruments or some sort of entertainment to provide relief to seniors in isolation (or physical greeting cards if necessary due to lack of technology access).
*Once you fill out the form, you will be contacted with information about where to send your video(s) and are welcome to continue the relationship on your own.
For Nonprofits & Our Agency Partners
In case you missed it, click the button below for the recording of our webinar.
Topic: The Emerging Trend of Volunteerism Meets Social Distancing: How to Create Opportunities
This webinar will focus on engaging and maintaining contact with specifically student volunteers despite social distancing and without direct contact.
- Ideas for volunteer engagement in today’s climate
- What you’ll need to do to prepare
- How to encourage continual engagement despite shut-downs
- Our DreamCatchers Compassion and Kindness Initiative & how you can get involved
Please click the button below to watch the replay.