Last April Marleen Brooks returned home to find a letter from one of her neighbors, a 90-year-old woman she had never met. The sender confessed she was extremely lonely and asked if they could be friends.
The next day Marleen went to visit the old lady and from that very moment women have befriended warmly.
“Would you consider to become my friend. I’m 90 years old- live alone. Please I pray for someone.”
Marleen’s eyes teared up. Brooks knew it could be her redemption.
The address specified on the envelope was in Brooks’ neighborhood but she had no idea who lived there.
The woman sent it to her friend Frank Somerville, the reporter, who shared it on Facebook with the caption from Brooks.
“Makes my heart sad, but on the bright side it looks like I will be getting a new friend”, she wrote.
She was absolutely right.
Marleen came to the note’s sender with her husband and kids. They learned an old lady’s name was Wanda Mills. Wanda was astonished that her desperate appeal had worked.
Remember to reach out to someone today—it may just be life-changing
During the conversation, Marleen learned Wanda has two sons who live too far and her husband had passed away. The old lady suffers from various health problems.
“I also made sure she knew she can call us at anytime and that I’ll be back to spend time with her!” Brooks said.
Since Marleen received that heartbreaking note, they both won soul mates.
“Remember to reach out to someone today—it may just be life-changing.” Brooks says.
But after seeing the positive effect of spending just an hour with Wanda, Marleen decided to go further and help even more elderly people.
Brooks launched Pen Pals For Seniors in April 2017.
The organization helps match lonely people with those who want to be their friends. Over 6,000 locals have expressed their wish to have an elderly fosterling – and it’s more than there are seniors who need a friend.
Marleen Brooks sees their mission in creating a nationwide network of support to end isolation and loneliness and improving seniors lives. That is how one forlorn message has changed lives of two women – and dozens of isolated people.
“A single action can make a difference in the community, and that collective action can greatly impact the world.”
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