When I was a kid, the thrill of getting a letter or something in the mail addressed to me was one of my favourite things.  I was pen pals with one of my aunts and an American girl I met while cottaging in Wasaga for many years.  Because I loved receiving mail, I send nieces and other children in my life letters, little gifts and now, deliveries of things like cookies or donuts.  No matter what I send, the result is the same – excitement about getting something addressed to them.  With the COVID period lengthening, I started noticing more articles and posts about the resurgence in letter writing to connect people.  While phone and Zoom calls keep us all connected, there is certainly still something special about receiving mail and more special about receiving anything that is handwritten.  I read two heartwarming stories about this recently – one involved a woman in Ottawa who started collecting and distributing letters to seniors, completely isolated in their care homes.  Seniors in Isolation  distributed thousands of letters and cards to seniors who have had little contact with the outside world in months and the impact on their sense of well-being was astounding.  Similarly, an inspirational young man named Lucas, just 12 years of age, started a pen pal program to help connect children who have trouble making friends connect via mail or email.  Over 250 children have been connected as pen pals through this program so far.  It is a great way for children who are feeling isolated to connect to others outside of their own families, especially if they are not currently in school or daycare.  I encourage families to consider participating in these programs or having their children find a pen pal or write a card or letter to a senior or other members of your community who may be feeling isolated or lonely.  It is a worthy pursuit that benefits the writer as much as the receiver.