We all need someone . . .
Chris Marlow, author of the book “Doing good is simple: Making a difference right where you are” wrote, “We all know and want to be known. That's why doing good is so powerful when the focus is first and foremost the people and not the project.”
That sentiment came to mind recently as I watched a news story last week of a nursing home trying to find pen pals for their residents to help curb their loneliness during COVID-19. It was a reminder that there are still so many people on quarantine and unfortunately so many people who have no one in their lives to spend time with. The story featured a 71-year-old man holding a sign with an address asking if anyone wanted to be pen pals with him. He made the statement that he wasn't sure how well he could write anymore but how nice it would be to have someone to talk to.
Seemed to be such a simple request . . . asking for interaction with other people? That shouldn't be too much to ask.
It broke my heart seeing such great loneliness, yet it also left me thinking . . . what a good idea!
It wouldn’t take much to put this in place right here, and all over. Why don't we set up a program for folks in residential, nursing and retirement homes to write each-other? A way to build connections between people, so no one ever has to feel so alone that they are reaching out to strangers in hopes to make a friend.
Throughout my formative years I had a pen pal from another country. I believe it started as a sixth grade class project. I received a name of a young girl about my age and we would write our letters back and forth, sharing commonalities and cultural differences, along with trading pictures and trinkets from our homelands. We would turn our letters in and our teacher would then be tasked with mailing them out to the recipients. If I remember correctly, my pal’s name was “Say” and she was from Thailand.
Pen pals were a fairly common part of growing up at one time. Today, with social media, texts, computers and face-time . . . you just don't hear of pen pals anymore. Heck, you barely hear of hand written letters anymore.
I have such fond memories of writing and getting to learn about my far-away friend, excited for each letter sent and anxiously awaiting each response.
As I watched this story my heart felt for the people who aren't able to be in contact with friends and family and those who simply have no friends or family to be in contact with. We all need human connection in our lives. We all need someone.
What a difference something as simple as a letter could make in someone’s life.
We should never underestimate the empowering effect of human connection.
Until next week, stay safe, stay healthy and remember . . . we're all in this together.
Upcoming Events . . .
• Crawfordsville District Public library has Women's Equality Day tomorrow, from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. This is an online event. Log into CDPL Facebook page for a quick online celebration of 100 years of votes for women. CDPL staff will share information about ongoing local events recognizing the 19th Amendment Centennial and give a sneak peek at the new “Votes for Women” display in the local history section. They will also flash highlights of the historical suffragists of Montgomery County.
• Don't miss out on the Crawfordsville Farmers Market, located on 100 W. Pike St. It’s open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Crawfordsville Chamber of Commerce and the Montgomery County Leadership Academy prepare for a Golf Scramble at the Crawfordsville Country Club on Sept. 18 at 9 a.m. Reserve your spot now by calling 362-6800. Check out their Facebook page for more information.

Stacey Baschwit works at The Paper of Montgomery County, along with her many other duties, and writes a weekly column about the people, places and events that make up her world.