USO creates pen pal program to connect military members with seniors

Coronavirus

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — People continue to practice social distancing because of coronavirus.

The USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia has been working on ways to keep the community connected during this time.

“It’s really challenging times right now, and I think anyone really in the community, we’re being challenged right now to think outside of the box,” said Erica Venezuela, the marketing and development coordinator for The USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia.

Venezuela says they created a pen pal program so military members and their families can interact electronically with seniors.

“It keeps us connected. We’re not writing physical letters, but it’s a new age and we’ll be sending email letters to our retirement homes. We already have a few participating with us,” she said.

Both military members and their children can become pen pals.

The USO website has links that bring up a child or adult template to start the writing process.

“Once you write a letter, you can continue to write letters back and forth,” said Venezuela.

She says they’re looking for more retirement homes and senior centers to join in.

“You’re still being connected from your community without being physically with them,” she said.

If you want to learn more, or be a part of the program: https://hrcv.uso.org/programs/pen-pal-program


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