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Local nursing home looking for virtual pen pals for residents

PITTSBURGH — With nursing homes closed, the staff is getting creative in keeping their residents connected to the community. The Whitehall Manorcare has seen an overwhelming response to their pen pal program. On Monday, the nursing home asked families to send emails, pictures of pets, or pictures their kids draw to them by email.

75 emails have come to their pen pal program since launching earlier in the week. Alison Davin, the activities director, said the response is overwhelming.

"We have people responding from New Jersey and Philadelphia and all different parts of Pittsburgh," said Davin.

They received photos from children doing crafts, pictures of children's artwork, and people's pets.

"They did paper plate artwork; they made sharks out of paper plate and flowers out of construction paper," said Davin.

Davin says they even got emails, which residents could respond to. The nursing home decided to do a virtual pet therapy on Friday by showing on pet pictures on tv throughout the facility.

Davin said residents love getting the messages, "it gives them hope to know that people are still thinking about them even though there is craziness in the world."

If you want to send a picture or send a general email, you can send it to the Manorcare Whitehall Email address: