Strangers send letters to retirement home closed to visitors

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Residents at a retirement community in Grand Rapids are getting special letters from across the country, one more way people are stepping up to help others during the coronavirus pandemic.

What started off as just one letter and a post on Facebook has turned into hundreds of heartfelt messages.

Letters sent to Clark Retirement Community in Grand Rapids. (Photo courtesy the retirement community – April 12, 2020)

Like many people right now, the residents at Clark Retirement are unable to see their family members. Visitors are prohibited to make sure they aren’t exposed to coronavirus. So people across West Michigan and the country have been sending letters addressed “To A Friend Who’d Like Mail” or “To Someone Stuck Inside Like Me” to any resident who wishes to receive one.

JoAnn Abraham, the vice president of development at Clark Retirement, said it’s important to be able to find a light in dark times.

“It’s so nice to know that amidst all the sadness and the difficult times that we’re having, that there are people that are compassionate and care and want to make others’ lives better and enrich them by just a kind word or a special thought,” Abraham said.

A Clark Retirement Community resident holds up an encouraging letter she received. (Photo courtesy the retirement community – April 12, 2020)

The staff holds on to the letters for 48 hours to make sure they are safe and then delivers them to resident’s mailboxes.

If you’d like to send a letter to the residents at Clark, the address is:

“To a Friend Who’d Like Mail” or “To Someone Stuck Inside Like Me”
Clark Retirement Community
1551 Franklin Ave. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506