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  When the pandemic first started in 2020 I never realized how much it was going to affect me and the way I look at the future. I thought it was something that was just going to blow over in a couple of months just like any other flu season. After a couple of months of quarantine and not being able to fly home to see my family that were hundreds of miles away, I realized this was not like any other flu season. Since both of my parents are at high risk of getting Covid-19 I started to get very homesick not being able to see my family, and only being able to talk to them through facetime wasn’t the same.

  I started to feel so alone not being able to be around the people I loved. At first, I thought I was one of the few people who was experiencing this situation, but after watching news segments on TV I realized I wasn’t alone. There were 1,000s of elders in nursing homes who also weren’t able to see their families because of Covid. I really connected with these stories of elders finding creative ways to talk to their loved ones as I was constantly facetiming my grandma who was quarantining alone back home. I wanted to do something for my grandma and for the 1,000s of elders in nursing homes to let them know that they weren’t alone and that I was thinking of them, so I started the 101 Cards project.

     Inspired by actress Heidi Gardner and her volunteering projects on Instagram I decided to send out 100 cards to people I didn’t know in nursing homes, and then the 101 card was for my grandma. Although my grandma isn’t in a nursing home she had been self-quarantined at her house for the past three to four months not being able to see anyone, not even my family. I had mailed out 50 cards to a nursing home back in Massachusetts and the other 50 were sent to Harbor Chase Assisted Living Facility in Palm Harbor Florida. Each card that I sent out came with a handwritten note by me and either a drawing, joke, or some of my favorite quotes. Life can get stressful and overwhelming especially during hard times like Covid and everyone deserves a good laugh or smile, just know that they’re loved.

  Since starting this project in April 2020 I have gotten so many responses from the people in the nursing homes telling me the sweetest stories and what their experiences have been like since the start of Covid. A couple of months after I had sent out all the cards I actually received the sweetest message on Instagram from Heidi Gardner who inspired me to start this project, she had said how great the project was and thanked me for creating it. Reading all of the letters I got back from the people made me feel like I wasn’t alone anymore and that we are all in this together. Creating 101 Cards made me appreciate the small moments with friends and family and to be present in the moment with the people you love because you never know what the future holds. This project meant a lot to me and by far was one of my favorite highlights from 2020.  

Hello! My name is Jessica Scott and I am a recent graduate of The University of Tampa with a bachelor's in Marketing. I love to create websites for small companies, but I also have a big passion for writing. I'm from New Hampshire originally but moved down to Florida for the warm weather and school, and I have loved every minute of it here!
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