Bloomfield man joins ‘Love for the Elderly’ letter writing project

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A local Bloomfield man is taking his passion for volunteering and community to a new level.

Walter Lawson, or Wally as many know him, recently decided to participate in ‘Love for the Elderly,’ a letter writing project designed to “bring smiles to the faces of seniors, connect with elders and bridge the pre-existing age barrier,” according to it’s official website.

Lawson said he discovered the organization through the American Profile insert inside of the Greene County Daily World a few weeks ago.

“For me, getting a letter or card in the mail really, really makes my day, and that’s all it is-- cheering someone up with a little note saying that I’m thinking of you. I use different colors of paper note cards, different colors of ink pens and stickers, stickers, stickers, anything to make them look cheerful,” said Lawson.

Lawson said he has set a goal of obtaining 1,300 letters to send by March 1, in order to allow time for organizing a letter-writing party at the library and to get the letters shipped by Easter.

“Basically we’re writing letters, notes or cards to the elderly members of our community who live in care homes or nursing facilities. I have decided to send a box of letters when the project is done to the organization. But, I would also like to deliver some of the notes, letters and cards here locally,” said Lawson.

The organization, based out of Ohio, will then receive the letters and distribute them as needed. The Love for the Elderly organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which includes other programs such as Senior Buddies, Sunshine Box and Social Impact Program which has served over 20,000 seniors across the globe, according to it’s official website. Created just a few years ago, the website states the organization has inspired people to give back to elders in over 50 countries and six continents.

Although the letters are meant to bring smiles to the elderly, the rules are important, Lawson said.

“No dates on anything, and this organization asked you not to talk about politics or religion, and it also asks you not to say or write the word God, just in case a letter goes out to someone who is a non-believer,” Lawson said, “If anyone would like to contribute letters, they can always drop them off in care of me at the Picnic Basket. A final photograph will be taken of all the letters collected before we send them out.”

Lawson is a cashier at the Picnic Basket in Bloomfield, and is there nearly every night cooking, cleaning and running the store. In his spare time, Lawson volunteers his time at the Richland Fire Department Auxiliary, where he also has played the role of Santa Claus for the past 16 years as a part of the Red Nose Response Team.

Lawson said he has been a member of the Red Nose Response team for the past six years, and has been volunteering in various organizations throughout his entire life.

The Official Red Nose Response website states it’s mission as to “...unite and utilize the unique talents of the clown community to work in support of the survivors, families of victims and relief operations following a major natural or man-made catastrophe.”

As a member of the Red Nose Response, Lawson brings comic relief by attending various community events or even visiting children’s hospitals to offer positivity to the patients, and also decided to begin the hand-written letter project.

No envelopes are needed, according to Lawson, who said he has written 113 letters so far and has received donations of blank note cards.

“Would love to see if I can get more people involved, the more the merrier I always say,” said Lawson, who said he soon plans to organize a letter-writing party at the library.

For a full list of the letter writing rules or to find more out about Love for the Elderly, visit www.lovefortheelderly.org.

For more information on the Red Nose Response Team, visit Lawson’s official Facebook Page, ‘Wally’s Red Nose Page’, or visit the official website at www.rednoseresponse.org

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  • I would have loved doing this but being censored as to whether I can mention God throws me off for God is my life and how can one sit God outside hidden when He is your life, can't do it, would be like saying, "You sit over there God while I write this note, then You can come back". And it's not being who you are inside which God is the only reason I would be motivated to write letters in the first place.

    -- Posted by sassy12 on Thu, Jan 5, 2017, at 1:17 PM
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