May 27, 2020
One-Way Pen Pal Encourages Safe Socialization
With the issuance of the New York State on PAUSE stay-at-home coronavirus order, the Yonkers Parks Department has launched its “One Way Pen Pal” program which creates a connection between senior citizens and younger residents during this time of social distancing. As a way to honor and brighten the days of the elderly population, the Yonkers Parks Department reached out to numerous schools, organizations, and local communities to ask children of all ages to make a card or write a letter to the seniors of Yonkers. Within a couple of weeks, over 150 seniors have received a card, drawing or letter along with additional goodies such as “hug cards” and senior recreation word searches.
“With approximately 32 percent of our Yonkers seniors living alone and having our Yonkers youth transition to an online learning environment both populations feel disconnected during this crisis,” said Mayor Spano. “I commend our Yonkers Parks Department on finding a way to encourage safe socialization while keeping our seniors and youth connected.”
Parks Commissioner Anthony Landi remarked, “The City of Yonkers Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation is excited for this new program to help a senior smile. This is a difficult time for everybody, especially for our seniors. We are working hard to keep them smiling and feeling connected.”
“I was so happy to get this nice card to cheer me up. Thanks to the children and the Parks Department,” said Yonkers senior center participant, Sedora Martinez.
To become a One Way Pen Pal, mail positive words of encouragement in the form of a card, drawing or letter to: Yonkers Parks Department Senior Recreation, 285 Nepperhan Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10701 or take a photograph of the artwork and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Yonkers Parks Department will send all submissions and heartfelt words to a senior citizen via the United States Post Office.