UNC Card Campaign Focuses on Lifting Spirits
April 2, 2020
When Kendyl Kelly, UNC’s program coordinator for Student Organizations, found herself on an extended visit home to Virginia because of the coronavirus travel restrictions, it gave new meaning to the concept of “working from home.” And it also fostered a great idea.
“Both of my parents work in the nursing home industry, and through them, I’ve been hearing a lot about the isolation and loneliness that nursing home patients and assisted living residents are feeling,” she said. “It's basically like an older version of college campuses, where you have residents that live there and they have activities, and it’s a very social setting.”
But with social distancing and lockdowns, that setting has become isolated and lonely for residents.
Through conversations with her parents, Kendyl learned about a card campaign they were doing that involves about 12 different nursing home facilities and gives people opportunities to mail cards and boost residents’ spirits.
She thought a card campaign would be a great volunteer opportunity for UNC student organizations to help the Greeley community. The plan involves community members going online to write messages and upload coloring sheets and artwork to people who might need words of support or encouragement. Staff at UNC’s Office of Student Organizations then gather the messages, print out the artwork, and mail a physical card to coordinators at nursing homes, hospitals and UNC housing.
“Our office at UNC actually had a volunteer day planned for the Friday after spring break, which was canceled. So, this was a neat way to still be able to work with the city of Greeley,” she says.
Called “United to Nurture our Community (UNC) - A Card Campaign,” the effort is focused on reaching out to people in Greeley who live or work in long-term care facilities, nursing homes and hospitals, as well as the 350-plus UNC students and residence advisors who are remaining on campus for spring semester.
Here’s how it works:
To participate, go to the qualtrix survey, select which group you’d like to send a card to, and either request the Card Campaign team write a message or create your own. There’s also a place where you can upload digital artwork, pictures, funny memes or coloring sheets. The team then selects a greeting card, adds your message, signs your name (or mark it as anonymous if you prefer), slips the card and any artwork into the envelope, attaches a stamp and drops it in the mail.
Groups can participate, as well. Kendyl says she’s worked with UNC student organizations, fraternities and sororities and Weld District 6, who sign the cards with their organization’s or school’s name.
—Written by Debbie Moors