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Pen pal program takes off in Northumberland County

Senior citizens in Mount Carmel have been "overwhelmed with kindness."

MOUNT CARMEL, Pa. — Lots and lots of letters — more than 1,200 — have come pouring into Mount Carmel Senior Living Community.

This is a brand-new pen pal program and a way to lift the residents' spirits during this health crisis.

"I'm writing and telling them what I used to do, crocheting, knitting, and working at Knoebels and different things like that, what I did," said resident Mary Tyson.

They expected to get some letters but could not have imagined letters from all over the country and the world: Scotland, England, Italy, France, and South Africa.

"I never would have guessed there were so many good people out in the world, you know we're a small-town nursing home, the response was just very overwhelming," said Patricia Moser, an employee at Mount Carmel Senior Living Community.

Moser, along with her son, came up with the pen pal idea.

Overwhelmed indeed by that kindness, the residents are enjoying reading and writing back, though some need a little help to do that, and they are asking for patience.

They are also encouraging other senior living centers to start similar programs.

"It's hard to express it; it's out of this world. So beautiful that everybody took it to their heart to write to a person they don't know," said Ann Polinski of Mount Carmel Senior Living Community.

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