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“I really wanted to reach out to the elder community”

There’s a famous quote from American poet Maya Angelou that says: “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

The same kindness spirit is what inspired High school student Annabelle Liang to reach out to Epsom Village to ease the loneliness of the lockdown. On the 21st of September, Annabelle delivered more than 90 letters through the village gates, one for each resident. She convinced three of her friends to help her with this formidable endeavour. “The other students that helped me are all some of my closest friends: Jojo, Sebastian and Johnnie. We all felt strongly about helping the community and making sure people felt cared for during these hard times, so it wasn't very difficult to convince them.”

Annabelle hopes that some of the residents reply to her letters.

Annabelle and her friends spent one month writing the 90 letters and they’re planning to do the same for other villages. Annabelle got the inspiration from last year’s Covid lockdown. She was working as a “pen pal” for Age Concern Wellington and she was assigned one person to write letters to.

Each letter includes the personal details of the sender’s, inviting the resident to write back and possibly start a “pen pal” relationship. Annabelle believes that retirement villages provide a vital support for the community, specially during challenging times like the one we’re living. At Real Living we’re overwhelmed by the empathy and kindness shown by Annabelle and her friends. Thank you, Annabelle, Jojo, Sebastian and Johnnie from King’s College!

Annabelle would like to do the same for other retirement villages.

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