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Evanston Retirement Center Mounts Pen Pal, Adopt A Grandparent Program To Fight Pandemic Fatigue; 'Feel Like I'm Doing Something Really Good'

EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) -- They haven't seen family or friends for months.

But some people living at Westminster Place in Evanston decided to do something to help, as CBS 2's Brandon Merano reported Thursday.

"I'm one of the correspondents with the children," said resident Mary Anne Limbos.

Whether it's writing letters, or just getting out of her room, never married and having no kids of her own, 87-year-old Mary Anne Limbos is just one of many residents in the penpal program starting at the beginning of the pandemic.

"I swim. I swim better than I walk," Limbos said. "I try to walk but I don't walk to well because I eat too much."

It's going so well the retirement community is running out of stamps.

"You just listen to them, and talk to them like they're adults, and pay attention to what they're saying," Limbos said. "I enjoy the letters. I enjoy writing them and I enjoy hearing from them. It keeps me going."

Since no one has been able to visit them since March, residents said this program is sending hope. But writing letters isn't all Westminster is helping residents do to stay connected.

Jill Greenman, Westminster Activity Specialist, said it's more than a gift.

"Their only connection with the outside world be with FaceTime or a phone call," Greenman said.

The facility's Adopt a Grandparent program pairs residents with people of all ages living in the area to have someone to talk to or even help deliver groceries.

Connection during this time of pandemic can feel more difficult than in our pre-COVID-19 lives and this is why...

Posted by Westminster Place on Tuesday, December 1, 2020

"These kids are gaining a lot of you know wisdom and life experience from our residents," said

As for the residents…

"Makes me feel like I'm doing something really good," Limbos said.

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