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South Bay family leads letter-writing campaign for senior care facilities

Posted at 4:35 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 14:37:10-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — A South Bay family is trying to help residents at senior care facilities one letter at a time.

When Mariana Hughes learned of the ban on non-essential visitors at local senior care facilities, the Eastlake High English teacher came up with an idea.

"It just broke my heart. I didn't want them to be forgotten," said Hughes.

Hughes contacted four facilities in the South Bay, including several veterans homes. Her 14-year-old son Christian then started writing letters, a bunch of them. The letters are aimed at injecting a little joy.

"I'm just going to write more letters, whatever I can do to make people happy ... because I know these are hard times for them," he said.

Hughes posted her idea on Facebook, which quickly caught fire. Others promised to write their own letters. Some sent 10news photos of children showing their cards, drawings and letters, after another teacher began her own campaign to send letters to nursing homes in the East County.

"If we get the word out and this catches on, lots more seniors that are lonely, afraid and sad are going to see that their community loves them," said Hughes.

It's a love received, word by word.

"We can't maybe fix the whole world, but each person can do something every single day to lift up other people ... and this is our opportunity," said Hughes.

Hughes says she's taking precautions, including washing hands before letter writing, and using stickers instead of stamps.

Here is a list of senior care facilities accepting letters and cards:

Granite Hills Healthcare and Community Center
Attn: Activites
1340 E. Madison Ave.
El Cajon, CA 92021

Cottonwood Canyon Healthcare Center
Attn: Activities
1391 E. Madison Ave.
El Cajon, CA 92021

Lo-Har Senior Living
Attn: Activites
768 Dorothy St.
El Cajon, CA 92019

Victoria Post-Acute Care
Attn: Activities
654 South Anza St.
El Cajon, CA 92020

Casa El Cajon
Attn: Activities
306 Shady Lane
El Cajon, CA 92021

Sunrise at Bonita
Attn: Activities
3302 Bonita Road
Chula Vista, CA 91910

Veterans Home of CA Chula Vista
Attn: Activities
700 E. Naples Court
Chula Vista, CA 91911

Birch Patrick Convalescent Center
Attn: Birch Patrick Skilled Facility/Christina Griego
751 Medical Center Court
Chula Vista, CA 91911

Windsor Gardens Convalescent Center of San Diego
Attn: Activities
220 E. 24th St.
National City, CA 91950