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New London Rotary spearheads letter writing campaign to seniors

New London — The New London Rotary Club has partnered with the city and school district to launch “Reach Out New London,” an effort to encourage people to write letters to residents of local nursing homes.

“Loneliness and isolation among the elderly is a problem in the best of times, but now with the pandemic it is ever more important to let those senior citizens confined to nursing homes that they have not been forgotten,” said Bruce MacDonald, who is coordinating the club's effort.

Anyone wishing to write even a brief note can send it to Marina Vracevic, the city’s senior citizen coordinator, at the New London Senior Center at 120 Broad St. The senior center is serving as the collection point for the letters and cards and will distribute them. The Visiting Nurse Association of Southeastern Connecticut will deliver letters to those it serves in their own homes.

Privacy regulations don’t allow for letters to be written to specific people, but a salutation like "Dear Friend," or something similar would work, Vracevic said. Family members who wish to identify a relative in a nursing home for a more personalized note can send the information to the city at 181 State St. or by calling the city’s helpline at (860) 941-4355.

School Superintendent Cynthia Ritchie, one of the organizers of the Reach Out New London campaign, said students will be contributing artwork, poetry, jokes and "authentic messages of hope, caring and inspiration."

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