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Are you a care facility in Canada looking to receive letters as part of the Pen Pal Program? Fill out our application!

Love letter

Pen Pal Program

Sending Sunshine’s Pen Pal Program is intended to facilitate meaningful, one-on-one intergenerational connections through the power of the written word. In a time that can feel very isolating, sending handwritten letters is a tangible way to create new friendships and help reduce feelings of loneliness.

Wondering how your letter gets to a Senior living in a care facility? Here's how it works!

1.

Sign up on our website and wait for our confirmation email and instructions

2.

Handwrite the letter and mail it to the address we provide you

3.

The letter is received by a partnered care facility

4.

The letter is distributed by the care facility to a resident who is looking for a Pen Pal

5.

The resident responds to the letter and sends it directly to you! Steps 2-5 are repeated at least six times!

Common Questions

  • Where are the cards going?
    All of the cards will be distributed to various care facilities and seniors' organizations across Canada!
  • Is there a minimum size requirement for my cards?
    Cards should be no smaller than 4x5.5 inches.
  • Does my card have to be store bought?
    No! We welcome both store bought and handmade cards. Let your creativity run wild! If you want to save money but are having trouble making a handmade card, this website is a good online card and envelope maker! Just make sure to handwrite the actual message though! You can also purchase a card from our Redbubble Store.
  • Do I have to put a return address on the envelope?
    No, you do not have to put a return address on the envelope if you don't feel comfortable including it!
  • Do I have to write my card in English?
    No! In addition to English, we accept cards written in French, traditional Chinese writing, and simplified Chinese writing.
  • What should the card contain?
    The cards should contain thoughtful, uplifting, and cheerful messages. Cards should be handwritten and contain an introduction of yourself. You can also include any hobbies, interests, or past-times. More ideas are outlined in the card writing help section of our website
  • Where should I send the card?
    All cards can be sent to our P.O. Box at: Sending Sunshine PO Box 45017 RPO Port Credit Mississauga, ON L5G 4S7 Canada
  • Can I send my cards through a courier such as FedEx?
    No. Cards must be sent through a federal postal service, such as Canada Post!
  • If I want to send multiple cards, can I send them in one large envelope or do they have to be sent one card per envelope?
    We would prefer for multiple cards to be sent in one large envelope or box!
  • If I am sending my cards in one large envelope/box, should I put the cards in individual envelopes?
    If you are sending your cards in one large envelope, it is up to you whether you have individual envelopes for each of your cards. We will accept them either way! If you choose to include envelopes, please do not seal them.
  • Will I get any confirmation that you have recieved my card?
    If you want confirmation that we have received your card, you may add a separate slip of paper in the envelope with your name and email. We’ll then contact you when we have received your card!
  • Will I receive a card in return?
    The cards will only be sent to Seniors in care facilities. You will not receive a response. However, we do have a pen pal program! Click here for more information on our pen pal program.
  • Can I receive volunteer hours for writing a card?
    Yes, you can gain volunteer hours for writing cards to Seniors! Please sign up as a volunteer here and please read our instructions very carefully!

What Makes a Good Letter?

  • One letter or card made from 8.5 x 11’’ blank paper, cardstock, or stationary 

  • Please avoid using lined paper or paper with a three-hold punch

  • Neat, legible, large handwriting

  • Use pen, marker, or pencil crayon

  • A complete page of writing (minimum 20 sentences)

  • Some paragraph breaks can help your letter be read more easily

What Should I Write Inside?

  • Begin with a greeting and introduce yourself

  • Write about what you are currently doing, interests, or hobbies you are passionate about

  • Ask questions for your pen pal to respond to

  • Share anecdotes

  • Sign off your letter

Letter Examples

An example of a letter
Picture of a letter

Sign Up to Become a Pen Pal Letter Writer!

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