The beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic meant increased isolation, loneliness and depression for nursing home residents who could not receive visitors and even had limited interactions with one another.
Thomas Hunter Middle School sixth grade social studies teacher Leslie Hudgins decided to help spread some cheer to the residents of Riverside Convalescent Center in Mathews last summer, only a few months into the pandemic.
Hudgins discovered that an assisted living facility in Texas had a pen pal program between facility residents and community members and thought that a program like that was needed in Mathews. She contacted Richard Miles, Mathews Riverside Convalescent Center Activities Director, to get the ball rolling on a pen pal program.
Since there were so many residents who were not able to write back to their pen pal, Hudgins and Miles decided to make the interaction one-way.
“It was pretty much started because of COVID,” she said.
Hudgins created the “Mathews Nur...
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