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Arielle Contreas, recipient of a Community Builder Award. Photo provided.

Community Builders: Arielle Contreas sends letter to fight isolation in long-term care homes

By United Way East Ontario on September 8, 2020

In August, United Way East Ontario announced eight new Community Builder Award recipients being honoured for their unwavering support to their communities in these challenging times. Check out the full list of recipients here and read on to learn about recent recipient Arielle Contreas.

When COVID-19 hit, Arielle Contreas looked for ways to combat the social isolation many seniors in her Ottawa community were feeling. To meet those needs, Arielle developed Letters to Elders, a program she runs and organizes all by herself.

The program collects letters from local community members and Arielle hand delivers them to seniors living in long-term care facilities in Ottawa. She coordinates with four specific long-term care homes and has letter writers take pictures of their letters and then send them to her for distribution.

Arielle Contreas is a recipient of a Community Builder Award. Photo: United Way East Ontario.

“Seeing the care and kindness and warmth poured into each of the letters we’ve received has been so very very heartwarming.”

Arielle has received an overwhelmingly positive response from the local community with more than 90 letters delivered to date! Not only does Arielle’s program help the seniors who receive them, it has also provided people in our region with a way to give back by sharing love and kindness at a time of great uncertainty.

Arielle’s program has brought her community together during a time when remaining connected to the community is most important. She is passionate and dedicated to inclusion of all community members.

Thanks to Arielle, countless seniors across Ottawa don’t have to feel as though they are alone.