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Picayune Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center residents need pen pals

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, long-term care facilities across the county have been forced to close their doors to visitors to reduce the risk of residents being infected.

To help combat the isolation, some long-term care facilities, including Picayune Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, are asking for volunteers to become pen pals with residents.

“To help residents through this time, we thought it would be helpful fun for them to engage in meaningful relationships with newly-made friends from all over,” Joe Gimenez of G3 Public Relations wrote in a statement to the Item. “This generation specifically loves receiving handwritten letters, so we decided to invite our extended community to write to our residents to keep them company and give them something to be excited about each day.”

Those interested in becoming pen pals with residents at Picayune Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center can send letters to 1620 Read Road, Picayune, MS 39466.

To see a list of residents searching for pen pals, visit the Picayune Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center Facebook page.

Gimenez stated that letters can be addressed to a chosen pen pal based on shared interests or letters can be addressed to “my pen pal” to be matched with a resident who has not received mail yet.

In addition to letters, volunteers are able to send goodie baskets, snacks and crossword puzzles for the residents to enjoy.

“Pretty much anything is acceptable,” Gimenez wrote. “We double check the snacks before handing them out, so really any snacks are good. Plus they mention their favorites on our post, so they can have all of what they request.”

Gimenez stated that the program has been very successful so far.

“The residents look forward to receiving letters and goodies,” Gimenez wrote. “It makes them feel valued and always brightens their day.”

For more information about the program or becoming a pen pal, call Picayune Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center at (601)-798-1811.