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Surprise for Seniors: Letters from strangers make a new home at Tapestry Senior Living

(WCTV)
Published: Apr. 2, 2020 at 3:26 PM EDT
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By: Sophia Hernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News

April 2, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Since early March, a Tallahassee nursing home has been receiving letters from all over the nation.

The reason?

To put a smile on their resident's faces.

Tapestry Senior Living Facility still wants to spread joy while practicing their social distancing.

Thursday morning, residents got to open those letters. Many of them were not aware of the surprise, and were shocked to know that strangers from all over the country had been doing this for them!

We want to clarify that the letters used in WCTV's video were not the ones that the residents touched or opened. The ones they read have been sanitized and quarantined for almost a month.

Tara Dinapoli, the Life Enrichment Director, reads out the beginning of one of the hundreds of letters sent in, "I am sending you love from 2,600 miles away..."

The letters have made a home in Tapestry. As WCTV's Sophia Hernandez waits outside of the facility, Dinapoli wheels the letters to her. Those letters will eventually be distributed to their many residents who are spending their days inside.

Dinapoli hopes it is a surprise to many of them, "It is hard to get smiles as much as we have been getting them on a regular basis especially because my job is my face and interacting with them when I have a mask all of the time, so it is very hard for them. So I am hoping that we are going to see their smiles a lot more today."

The smiles and joy can be felt of the residents opening their letters Thursday, even through a video call. One resident, Martha, laughs upon opening hers.

Dinapoli shares, "Well that is for you to keep!"

Martha smiles.

"Oh how nice. Thank you!"

Some residents, like Opal, were brought to tears. Her caretaker could be heard through the phone saying, "Oh it's okay, she likes it, she likes it."

Mal Greenfield was amazed by his, "Oh," he exclaimed, "He made me a picture. That is a very nice picture Gunter."

Another resident named Martha reads a letter filled with dogs and flowers, "How cute is that? As cute as can be!"

Dinapoli tells resident Maxine, "Isn't that so cute? We had little children that wanted to cheer you up."

Maxine turned her head in shock, "Oh for heavens sake! Oh for heavens sake!" Dinapoli places the cards in her hands, "That is for you to keep in your room to make you smile."

Maxine can not help but do just that as she is left speechless, "Oh for heaven's sake!" Dinapoli laughs and asks. "Isn't that lovely?" To which Maxine responds, "Yes it is."

Some of the residents tore the letters open with excitement, others treasured each and every moment, relishing in the words. These seniors felt the power of community through the words of strangers, and the love of so many.

Martha shares, "That's touching I really am touched by it."

Sue smiles, "It's greatly appreciated." Resident Cara laughs, "It just bring joy to my heart," She flips over the letter and holds back tears, "I love you it says."

There are dozens of letters that have yet to be opened as they need to be separated and sanitized, giving them time to come into the facility and be disinfected. If you would like to send a letter to the residents of Tapestry Senior Living you can send it to:

Mackenzie Biehl

Tapestry Senior Living Lakeshore

2516 W Lakeshore Drive

Tallahassee FL 32312