Holly Springs pen pal program helps seniors find friends, smiles from around the world

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WTVD) -- An independent-living senior community is asking for pen pals.

Though the Holly Springs Apartments I&II said they have had responses from around the globe, they could use more.

We met Michelle Dorreman inside her apartment. She's a hoot. She has baking pans on the counter and knitted items around her home.

She reads from a butterfly card written by a woman named Pam, who lives in Billings, Montana.

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"We have something in common," she reads, "My birthday is also January 8th."

The two became pen pals during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to a call for letters from the property manager, Michelle Ray.

"The lady that I got is a lot like me, and that's what I like. When I saw her letter, I wrote back the next day," Dorreman said.

The two both crochet and scrapbook.

Michelle Ray speaks of another resident who received a letter from a pen pal, explaining the impact. "I have one tenant who's been a little depressed and she's got three letters already and she's just hanging onto those and it made her so much happier."

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Meanwhile, in Dorreman's apartment, she's active. She said she sees friends and family. But not all of her neighbors can say the same.

"Some of them don't have a lot of family that visit. Some of them...you know, I'm not like most people," she said with a chuckle.

If you would like to become a pen pal or write a letter to a resident of Holly Springs II Apartments, select someone here and send the letter to Holly Springs II, 215 W. Earp Street, Holly Springs, NC 27540.
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