Legislative group starts letter-writing campaign for senior citizens

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Legislative Research Commission wanted to make residents of long-term care facilities across Kentucky a little less lonely during a holiday season marked by social distancing.

That’s why LRC employees launched a card-writing initiative this month. The goal was to send at least one handwritten card to each of the state’s about 250 long-term care facilities, but some of those facilities have requested cards for each resident.

“If your family is anything like mine, curtailing holiday traditions because of social distancing has been hard on the soul,” said LRC Director Jay Hartz, who was the catalyst for the initiative. “That’s why my heart truly goes out to those families with loved ones in long-term care facilities who won’t be able to spend time with them this holiday season. My hope is this card-writing initiative fosters some of that human connection lost with the restrictions.”

More than 50 LRC employees have volunteered their time to write personalized messages, said Legislative Services Training and Education Coordinator Lisa Thomas, who helped spearhead the project.

“LRC staffers are givers,” Thomas said, adding that she dropped off blank cards to LRC employees working remotely so they could participate. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive. One staffer asked if she could get her children involved. We’ve had folks requesting 50, 25, 20 cards and a couple that said give me as many as you want.”

Director’s Office Administrative Assistant Mariah Derringer-Lackey printed mailing labels for each of the facilities.

The goal is to have at least 350 cards written by Dec. 11 and ready for mailing. She added this was an agency-wide initiative that included the LRC Print Shop producing the cards to be mailed.

“It’s just been a wonderful, heartfelt project to participate in,” said Derringer-Lackey, who also spearheaded the project. “(Thomas) and I have enjoyed seeing the amount of staff involvement. We are both very excited to spread some joy this holiday season.”

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