Tens of thousands of older adults in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties are living alone, and the isolation, loneliness, and depression many of them are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic has become as much of a threat to their overall health as the virus itself
With the holiday season quickly approaching, The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging - where over 30,000 older adults live alone - invited children and young people from across the region to participate in their Holiday Greetings Campaign for local seniors – and say they’re delighted by the response.
Many heartwarming messages, written by children in Ventura County to strangers they’ve never met are gathered at the VCAAA.
The outreach agency is collecting the handmade cards from across the region, to distribute alongside food supplies to vulnerable people, over Thanksgiving and the Holidays.
Jannette Jaurehui from the VCAAA told KCLU, "We have a special meal delivery next Wednesday and these messages will be delivered with those meals in an effort to brighten the holidays to those experiencing loneliness and isolation during this difficult time."
Some of the cards started life outdoors in a park in Agoura Hills, where these moms and their young children are - socially distanced - armed with paints, glitter, pom poms…and plenty of creativity.
Moms Shannon and Diana say that it’s a way to connect the younger generation to seniors, at a time when contact between generations is less than ever, because of the risks associated with the coronavirus.
Jaurehui says it’s been inspiring to see the community pull together.
"You find that during the most difficult times people really pull together as a community. In the darkest of times you really see a bright light in how the community comes together."
Donations are being accepted at Ventura County Area on Aging until Tuesday.