Volunteer to Write Dear Neighbor Postcards!
DID YOU KNOW: Too little social connection doesn’t just negatively impact people’s emotional health. Studies show that it can be as physically harmful as smoking.
HPSM’s Dear Neighbor postcard campaign helps reduce social isolation and loneliness in our community’s most vulnerable members – low-income older adults and people with disabilities. This population already suffers disproportionately
from social isolation. Sheltering in place during the COVID-19 crisis has only made many people feel even more alone.
You can help by volunteering to write Dear Neighbor postcards!
To volunteer, just fill out and submit this form
What you'll do as a volunteer
- Check your mailbox for an envelope from HPSM. Inside will be a stack of 25 blank Dear Neighbor postcards.
- Write a positive, encouraging message starting with “Dear Neighbor” on each card. Need some inspiration? Here are some samples to get you started.
- I like getting personal notes in the mail, and I thought you might too.
- I hope that this card brightens your day.
- I hope that you’re staying healthy and safe in your home.
- I wanted to let you know that I’m thinking about you.
- You’re in my thoughts. I hope that you’re doing well.
- I know that this is a difficult time, but we’ll get through it.
- Sending you my warmest greetings.
- Put your finished cards into the enclosed pre-paid and addressed envelope and mail it back to us. HPSM will then address and mail your cards to low-income, older adults in San Mateo County.
If you want to write more postcards, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll mail you another stack!
How volunteering for Dear Neighbor helps
- Sending people heartfelt, positive messages lift the spirits of our potentially isolated neighbors. They help them feel less lonely and more connected with others during this challenging time.
- People may not know what kind of help is available to them, and these postcards will remind them. They highlight HPSM’s special COVID-19 microsite for members,
which helps people access resources they may need. These include health care, behavioral health support, community resources (such as meal delivery and financial assistance) and more.
- Non-English speakers can be even more socially isolated and therefore unaware that resources are available. Volunteers who can write in Tagalog, Spanish, Chinese or Russian (our county's most common non-English languages) can reach these particularly vulnerable HPSM members.
Note: The Dear Neighbor project is limited to HPSM members
As a health plan dedicated to serving low-income residents in San Mateo County, we created this initiative to reduce social isolation and loneliness in our low-income older adult members and members with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. While we understand that there are certainly many other people in our county facing these challenges, we are not able to add them to our mailing list.
However, we wholeheartedly encourage you to find other ways to support the older adults and others who may be socially isolated in your community. For example, you can always send your own postcards to anyone you think would benefit from a friendly word!