New Year’s Card Project for
Senior Care Facility in Sagamihara City
In Japan, the New Year’s holiday is one of the most important events of the year. People get together with their family and relatives, enjoy their quality family time together and visit shrines and temples to pray to Gods for health and welfare for the entire year. They also send New Year’s cards to greet each other.
But what about the elderly people in the elder care facility who do not have their family and relatives?? These elderly people often spend lonely times during such special occasions. They may have difficult relationship with their family, do not have communication with them or lost their family. The youth decided to send their love through the New Year’s cards to these lonely elderly people.
The youth organised a New Year’s card project and coordinated with the elder care facility they visited for the Christmas Seva in Sagamihara city. As the youth spread the word around, many youth and devotees volunteered to help and support in preparing the cards! They put their heart into making the cards with lots of quality messages and art work. Even small children joined and prepared the cards!
The hand-made New Year’s cards were sent to the facility and the staff helped the youth in putting down the names of the elderly on the cards. Everything was ready before New Year’s Eve and one of the youth who works in this elder care facility and the staff distributed the cards to each one of them on January 1.
The youth told them that everyone received their card with much joy and happiness - the picture shows so much joy and happiness! Youth and volunteers who participated in this project were filled with much appreciation!
Some wondered who sent them such wonderful cards; some remembered the youth from the Christmas Seva and said “Oh those people in that group!” It was a wonderful way to interact with these lonely, elderly people by actual Seva and cards afterwards. It increased the sense of love and caring the youth actually experienced together, during the interaction with them in the previous month.
The combined effect of Christmas Seva in the previous month along with this card making project in the following month allowed the youth to experience the flow of love and peace going through between them and the elderly.
They also noticed that the staff working in the facility were also affected by the love experienced by the elderly people, and it felt like Swami enveloped this entire facility with His gentle and pure love!
Nowadays, there is a tendency to not write a letter or message by hand.
The youth experienced the tradition of writing New Year’s cards by hand and greeting each other with blessings and recognized that it is a very important cultural tool to connect heart to heart!