CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Students from across central Virginia are sending messages of cheer and hope to help break through the isolation for people living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Hospice of the Piedmont is delivering the students’ colorful designs as part of the nonprofit’s “Joyful Art” project.
“All of us are feeling isolated and removed from our families, but in particular those who are in facilities where their families are no longer able to visit,” Hospice of the Piedmont Business Development Director Lois Pearson said.
Hospice invited elementary through high school students from Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and Nelson County to submit inspirational and uplifting artwork. The messages include: “Have a Happy Day”, “Don’t Be Afraid”, and “People Care About You”.
The project gave eighth grader Lilly Hinerman a place to practice her hand at sketching. She drew zebras with the message “Peace, love, and a zebra hug”.
“I think it’s nice getting letters from other places or drawings, and you can see what people are doing during this time, what makes them happy,” Hinerman said.
Hinerman and her classmates from North Branch School in Afton are studying from home during the pandemic. This project gave them a connection to the outside world.
“I hope the kids saw there are still ways that they are part of the community and they can make something better for someone else,” North Branch School Middle School Coordinator Katrien Vance said.
The students submitted their artwork digitally. Hospice had the designs printed to minimize contact and contamination. Hospice is delivering the artwork to more than 20 facilities across central Virginia.