About Letter to an Elder Day
Nearly half of Americans age 60 and older report feeling lonely, and loneliness increases the likelihood of developing health problems like depression, anxiety, and obesity. That’s where Love For Our Elders comes in. The Cleveland, Ohio nonprofit organization and its chapters bring social connections to elders around the world. They have sent more than 250,000 letters from 70 countries.
Love For Our Elders has declared that February 26 is National Letter to an Elder Day, a holiday celebrated by sending an elder a handwritten letter of love. This day comes once a year to honor the art of letter-writing as a way to send love, one letter at a time. “A letter has power. It can be read once, and re-read when you need it,” says Jacob Cramer, founder of Love For Our Elders.
When Cramer lost his grandfather, he began to volunteer at a local senior living community as a way of honoring his memory. He was lovingly referred to as “Bingo Boy” because of his entertaining and lively way of calling the community’s bingo game. During his time volunteering, he discovered that many of the residents rarely received messages or visitors from family and friends and that loneliness was a chronic and ever-present problem.
Cramer decided to start writing letters of love to senior communities. Quickly, his moniker changed from "Bingo Boy" to "Letter Boy." He found grace and love in his relationships with his friends in the senior community and eventually decided that he could take his letter-writing efforts nationally. Cramer created a nonprofit that urged people to write letters to elders (or anyone else in need who are older than they are) and facilitated the delivery to seniors around the world.Find out more