DEPEW, N.Y. (WIVB) – As World Elder Abuse Awareness Month approaches, Western New Yorkers are encouraged to take a few moments to help give a little extra support to older members of our community who may need it. The Kindness Club at Cayuga Heights Elementary School has some young community members leading by example.
They’ve created about a hundred hand-crafted cards for Caring Cards Challenge. The Center for Elder Law and Justice is collecting letters and cards to distribute to Meals on Wheels recipients, survivors of elder abuse, and other seniors who could just use a friendly note.
The caring cards will all be delivered on June 15, Elder Abuse Awareness day. “It’s about the community coming together as a whole and recognizing this issue, that this issue exists and kind of what leads to this,” explained Sarah Galvan, Director of Development for the Center for Elder Law and Justice.
Galvan says isolation is a big risk factor in many cases of elder abuse, and it can be combated through things like the Caring Cards Challenge.
The members of the Kindness Club at Cayuga Heights Elementary were glad to do their part. “I was feeling happy because then people don’t have to be lonely,” said 3rd grader Kayla Szuba when asked about the card making experience.
“They know that they’re not forgotten by people,” added another 3rd grader, Connor Harshany.
The Caring Cards Challenge is a perfect match for mission of the Kindness Club, which was formed relatively recently at Cayuga Heights. “The Kindness Club is a group of 2nd and 3rd graders who at the beginning of the year felt there was a need to spread kindness throughout Cayuga,” explained kindergarten teacher Nicole Valint, the Kindness Club advisor. “We started by just making cards for our teachers and then it kind of grew into spreading kindness throughout the school.”
“You learn about kindness and how to treat people nice,” said Kindness Club member Jordan Wisniewski.
The club’s latest project, creating these cards, allowed the members to get creative. Their cards feature a wide variety of messages and pictures, but the good cards have one thing in common: “Love,” according to 3rd grader Giada Rzeszutek.
More than 11 million older people live alone, and they can be facing isolation due to lack of supports, location, or chronic health issues.
The Center for Elder Law and Justice is hoping to collect at least 3,000 Caring Cards and letters for the elder members of our local community by June 12.
If you’d like to contribute, you can learn more by calling 716-853-3087 ext. 221 or emailing KEARL@ELDERJUSTICENY.ORG