NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – In a world of real-life problems, there’s a home at the corner of Longwood and Woodbury in Norfolk where everyone can escape.

“This is a very happening place,” said Lisa Suhay.  “I think a lot of people drive past here and they wonder what’s going on.  It is amazing what happens when you open a door.”

The pandemic has impacted everyone, especially children.

“It is sad and it is scary for them,” said Suhay.  “There is depression and anxiety.  There are fear and all kinds of concerns.”

Suhay is giving kids a magical outlet.

“It’s a fairy tree,” Suhay added.  “We’ve got fairies, trolls and elves.”

It started with one neighborhood girl.  Suhay told her she should write to the fairies.  Soon many other children followed.  Every letter gets a response, usually in just a few hours.

“There have been over a 1,000 so far,” she said.

It’s keeping those fairies very busy.

“The fairies are burning the midnight oil,” Suhay laughed.

The tree has been so popular, even students from nearby ODU have stopped to write.  But lately, the letters from the co-eds have gotten dark and depressing.

Suhay became so concerned she went to ODU to talk with administrators.

“I felt that they might not know the depth of sadness and grief and stress and how that is affecting students,” Suhay added.

ODU Vice President Don Stansbury first heard about the tree a week ago.

“The bottom line is it is designed to help people,” Stansbury said.

Stansbury and other staff know students are going through a lot.

“College students across the country have anxiety, they have relationship issues and are dealing with a lot, then you add the pandemic to their lives, so it is a difficult time,” Stansbury added.

ODU has on-campus resources including around-the-clock counseling. Stansbury said the university is now printing flyers to stick next to the fairy tree for students to see what’s available at ODU.

The pamphlets should be at the fairy tree very soon.  

Also, ODU administrators are working with Suhay to make sure that when the fairies respond, the resource information is included.