By Rochielle Canare, MD Middle School Program Coordinator
Photos and Media courtesy of AALEAD Staff
A local charity foundation, Feed the Fridge, teamed up with a local restaurant to provide free meals to thousands of people in the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia metropolitan area. The group requested help in providing 1,000 cards to accompany the free meals that will be delivered to the region’s elderly and those dealing with food insecurity for Thanksgiving. Equipped with markers, construction paper, and stickers, AALEAD youth set about writing for a cause.
During our workshop, we played games practicing empathy and discussed why making these cards mattered. Senior citizens “might feel alone during the holidays,” many youth said, recognizing that this time of the year can be difficult for those who cannot be with loved ones. Holidays can be a particularly isolating time, “especially during COVID, [when] some people can’t visit their family.”
Youth spent time writing personal messages to these senior citizens with well wishes for this time of year. They wrote about traditions their families like to celebrate, such as not eating “traditional Thanksgiving food,” instead opting for foods like dumplings or pizza. Some youth drew beautifully detailed pictures of the fall season or decorated their cards with stickers. Every youth wrote about how much they care and hope recipients of their cards “smile and laugh.”
In all, youth made over 40 Thanksgiving cards! Youth said they felt proud and accomplished to make these cards and hope the senior citizens who receive their messages feel loved.