Drawings, photos offer hope to residents at Harborlight Community Partners

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By The Salem News

The residents at Harborlight Community Partners in Beverly thrive on interaction, with each other as well as with family and friends who come to visit. But with social distancing measures currently in place to stop the spread of coronavirus, being confined to their rooms has left many with a feeling of isolation.

But thanks to the children and adults who are taking part in HCP’s “Not Alone” project, the residents are feeling much more connected to others.

The initiative — #HCPNotAlone — asks for people to make drawings, greetings and messages of hope that may be delivered to the residents. It has since morphed into volunteers making phone calls to residents who have requested them, or others writing to residents.

“We recognized early on that our senior residents were going to be very isolated when we had to go to stay-at-home orders,” said Bethany Blake, manager of philanthropy and marketing at HCP. “To help mitigate that sense of isolation, we tried to look for creative solutions to keep them safe.”

“We started out asking for photos and drawings, and it’s morphed from there,” added Blake. “Whatever modalities work best for (people willing to contribute), we’re thankful. The response from the community has been amazing.”

Fay Salt, a volunteer with Historic Beverly, has gone around the Garden City taking photos such as blooming flowers and signs of encouragement for hospital workers, Blake said.

Drawings, messages and photos that come in to Harborlight Community Partners via email are updated through its website and controlled how they are delivered to residents.

Blake said it’s done with an abundance of caution. If residents have email, she will share it with them that way. If not, “I have a mask on and my gloves, print them up and put the artwork in plastic sleeves, then give them to the property managers, and they share them with the residents in their units,” she said.

“We’re going through a lot of ink,” she added with a laugh.

If you are interested in taking part in the project, visit https://harborlightcp.org/covid-19-response