Blog

Small Actions Can Have a Large Impact

Dec 16, 2020

This guest blog was written by Allie Kandt, a student in Colorado that has gone above and beyond to help others through her thoughtful actions.

When I was 8 years old, I had major brain surgery and stayed in the hospital for almost a year.  The only visitors I could have were my parents and sister.  I missed the rest of my friends and family very much. Since I had such a long hospital stay, I started to feel very isolated from the rest of the world.  The Children’s Hospital had a “Care Cards” program: friends and family from anywhere in the U.S. could send me a card. This changed a lot for me. I started to feel like I was part of the world again and it helped me to not feel so isolated.  

I absolutely loved getting those cards. It meant so much to me to hear from other people and know they were thinking of me.  For the next several years, my family and I did several activities to give back to different organizations, such as gifting some of my paintings to the Make A Wish auction and donating slippers to parents and their children with extended stays at the Children’s Hospital. (With the help of family, friends, and my school we donated more than 500 pairs of slippers!)

When the quarantines for COVID-19 started, I recognized the feeling of isolation that came with it.  I also started seeing a lot of stories on the news and Social Media about how care communities for seniors were stopping family visitations as a safety precaution.  A lot of people on social media started talking about how isolated the residents were due to these visitation restrictions. 

Several months later, my high school counselor sent a list of places students could volunteer at virtually.  This was when I read about the Timeslips “Postcard Challenge” program. Especially during COVID-19, when you have very little contact with others it's nice to have a pen pal!  It seemed like the perfect match since I knew firsthand how much getting “Care Cards” meant when I felt isolated from everyone. 

I wrote 200 postcards and sent 20 each to 10 communities. I asked a question that they could talk about with their caretakers; if they'd like, I left my address for them to write back. 

I initially pledged to write 500.  I plan to continue writing and sending cards even after I reach my first goal of 500.  I will also be attaching a blank postcard to my postcard so that the person who receives it can write back to me or send a postcard out to someone else. The point is to keep spreading the love!  

Editor’s Note: Allie is a Senior at Colorado Connections Academy. Picture Credit, A. Kandt. For more information about the TimeSlips Creative Storytelling’s “Postcards - A Little Creative Care” initiative and to join the growing movement, see our news release at https://www.timeslips.org/about/news/27