Sudbury woman sends Christmas cards to anonymous seniors

Thanks to the kindness of one Sudbury woman, more than 150 seniors in Sudbury and beyond will enjoy the simple pleasure of receiving a Christmas card this year.

Krysten Patrick wants people to know that 'they're special, they're important'

"To a Dear Friend," writes Krysten Patrick. "Love, laughter and happiness for you at Christmas and all throughout the year always." The 23-year-old Sudbury student has sent more than 300 such cards, often with photos and personal stories, to lonely seniors in Sudbury and around the world. (Jessica Pope/CBC)

Thanks to the kindness of one Sudbury woman, more than 150 seniors in Sudbury and beyond will enjoy the simple pleasure of receiving a Christmas card this year. 

Krysten Patrick, 23, said it was moving away to school that made her think about the people she left behind.  

"When I moved to university six year ago now to Sudbury, it was very important I called [my grandpa] weekly," she said.

"I felt really guilty when I missed those phone calls, and it kind of just made me stop and think: maybe a lot of grandparents don't have a grandchild calling them weekly or someone visiting them in a retirement home. I wanted to do something."  

Patrick decided she would reach out to seniors who might need a lift over the holidays. She collected some blank Christmas cards and stamps, "and I Googled 'nursing homes' in Ontario."

Krysten Patrick fans out the final batch of Christmas cards she's sending out this year. The 23-year-old says she used to send out one card at a time, but now, she earmarks bundles for activities directors at retirement homes and asks them to give them to people who need them most. (Jessica Pope/CBC)

Flash-forward three years, and Patrick has sent more than 300 cards to anonymous seniors in nursing homes around the world, including some in the US, Australia and India. 

She said always writes a friendly note and signs her name, but she also often includes a photo of herself with her dog, or a personal anecdote about her life. 

Patrick said she's received some letters and photos in reply, "just saying, 'Thank you so much for your kindness — nice to hear from anyone.'"

Patrick said she's trying to convey a simple but powerful message to the people who receive her cards. 

"That they're special, they're important ... I hope they feel it, and they feel like someone's giving them a Christmas hug." 



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