Hospice letter program helps connect people isolating during pandemic

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – A hospice patient in Sacramento was able to connect to a New York City writer through a program that helps connect people who are isolated due to COVID-19.

It was a one-of-a-kind connection made thousands of miles apart.

“I feel like I’ve known Carol my whole life,” Annie told FOX40.

“We have all kinds of things in common,” said Carol. 

Annie and Carol, who only wanted to use their first names, met through the Snowline Hospice Sunshine Letters program, through which people can send letters to hospice patients in isolation during the pandemic. 

But for Annie, who lives in the heart of New York City, sending a letter wasn’t an easy task. 

“They set up a special email system where my penpal, Carol — I have to talk about Carol — so that we could correspond easily,” said Annie.

Just like that, a new friendship was born.  

“We like the same authors. We both have worked in communications. We both like real estate,” explained Carol.

“The amazing part is just that she feels like woven into the fabric of my life and she’s such a generous person,” said Annie.

Melissa Utermoehlen with Snowline Hospice told FOX40 that the program received around 1,200 letters from 42 states so far. 

“It’s beneficial not only for our patients but we’re finding for the letter writers as well,” said Utermoehlen. “It’s that sense of community. It’s that sense of connection.”

Staff at Snowline Hospice said they are now setting a goal to receive letters from all 50 states in the U.S. and even worldwide. 

“If you have friends, family out of the state, out of the country, please let them know,” said Utermoehlen.

“They’ve saved my life more than once, so it’s just a great program to support,” said Carol.

Click or tap here if you would like to send a letter to patients at Snowline Hospice. 

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