Students in Louisiana are working to bring smiles to the elderly during the pandemic

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– Those most at risk of catching coronavirus are also those who are most at risk to feel lonely. 

For those with loved ones in nursing homes it’s a time when we wish we had just one more visit before COVID-19 changed the way we show love. 

Emmy, who’s great grandmother is in a nursing home, thought of a way to make her smile even if they couldn’t be together. 

“We thought ‘let’s write her a letter’ and then we thought if every other kid who’s going to be home from school would want to do the same thing, then it would just be this amazing hug from everyone to let these people know that we are thinking of them and we are praying for them,” says Kristi Fredieu, Emmy’s mom. 

Fredieu works with a therapy center that partners with several nursing homes throughout the state. The letters are delivered to the nursing home, opened by staff and then cleaned before given to patients. 

“I like to do it because it makes them feel happy and they can look at other things and be happy,” says Emmy.

The entire second grade class at Saint Genevieve in Lafayette is writing letters to those who need them the most. Their teacher, Michelle Wilson, says everyone can learn a lesson from this sort of kindness. 

“We talk to them about how people are sad during this time, but this is an easy way that we can make them happy. So a simple picture, a simple hi and hello is just making those residents feel loved and [letting them know] that someone is thinking about them,” says Wilson. 

Kristi says, “Our children have so many gifts in their hearts that we sometimes forget about and when we slow down we realize we have everything we need within us to be able to spread joy. That to me is what this is doing, just bringing a light to the situation.”

There are about 85 residents in the facility the students are sending letters to, so they will stay busy crafting and writing letters throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. 

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