Samantha Dorrington and her Letters of Love, a campaign that was started by Coastal Care Solutions in South Portland, to connect seniors with the public through words of kindness and encouragement. Catherine Dorrington courtesy photo

SOUTH PORTLAND — Homecare agency Coastal Care Solutions has launched a campaign for southern Maine residents who are interested in connecting with older adults during a difficult, isolating time.

The Letters of Love initiative is an effort to bring comfort and joy to seniors and older adults, said Catherine Dorrington, founder of Coastal Care Solutions, a new South Portland business.

“It’s really quite simple,” she said. “With a small act of kindness, you can bring comfort and encouragement to seniors and older adults, bring smiles to their faces. Write a simple card or note or a letter of encouragement and deliver it to someone in your neighborhood or email Coastal Care Solutions and we will deliver them.”

As of Feb. 15, Coastal Care Solutions, with a goal of delivering 250 letters to senior living communities, assisted living facilities, memory care, home health and hospice agencies and older adults, has delivered nearly 75 letters, Dorrington said. The campaign will run through March.

Other organizations have also gotten involved, she said.

“We have had Girl Scout troops, elementary school children that are asking to get involved, as well as The Enclave of Scarborough Assisted Living and Memory Care, Pine Point Center in Scarborough and residents of the Betsy Ross House in South Portland and so many other wonderful and thoughtful community members throughout southern Maine,” Dorrington said.

Seniors can send letters, too, she said. One local nursing care facility has connected with a hospice agency to send notes back and forth.

“So it’s seniors also connecting with seniors,” Dorrington said. “They’re writing notes to each other.”

One of the most notable parts about the Letters of Love initiative is the fact that each letter is unique, she said.

“We want to spread this as far and wide as we can, and that’s what’s so great about this — it’s a safe, impactful way to lend a hand,” Dorrington said. “So many people in the community want to help out during the pandemic but they don’t know how. I think sometimes by sharing a word of encouragement, everyone feels the impact.”

Ruth Snider is the inspiration for the Letters of Love campaign, Catherine Dorrington of Coastal Care Solutions and Snider’s granddaughter, said. “She found comfort, happiness and joy in writing and receiving letters from friends, family, and neighbors.” Catherine Dorrington courtesy photo

The pandemic has created a time of heightened isolation, especially for older adults, nursing home residents and hospice patients, she said.

“I think, like most of us, but more to an extent, they’re experiencing the social isolation and the loneliness,” Dorrington. “That’s the secondary effect of the coronavirus.”

Coastal Care Solutions hopes to reach as many people as possible, she said.

“We want to spread these Letters of Love far and wide,” Dorrington said. “So if you know someone, or are an older adult who needs some cheering up, contact us so we can make sure they get a letter to brighten their day.”

For more information or with questions, email [email protected]

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