Care-Mail: Holiday Edition

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We believe students held in confinement need to know people care about them. We're sponsoring a holiday card campaign for volunteers to send students wishes for the holidays.

For Volunteers

Thank you for volunteering to support our youth!  You will find some guidance and helpful suggestions for your letter writing on this page.

Use this portal to submit your holiday cards.

Due by midnight on December 16th

*If you need a reminder about your school ID, see matches list below (coming soon)*

Guidelines & Helpful Tips

What to write about

  • You can share about whatever is happening in your life.  Here are some suggestions:

    • About you: Share where you are from, your job, your family, etc.

    • How will you be celebrating over the holidays?

    • Share your favorite, books, movies, sports, etc.; explain why they're your favorite

    • Food: What are your favorite holiday foods?  Are you going to be cooking anything to celebrate?

    • Quotes: share a favorite one and explain why you like it

    • Names: what's the meaning behind your name or your children's names?

    • Pets: What was your first pet? What pets do you have now?  Include a picture of them or share about their silly antics.

    • What are three things you are grateful for today?

  • Recognize/acknowledge your student’s worry about the current situation and maybe offer how you are handling the stress

  • What is most important here is that by reaching out to a student, you are letting her/him know that you care, and that you acknowledge her/his humanity and value.

 

What not to write about

  • Note that your letters may be read by facility staff.  Be mindful of what you write. 

  • Try not to spark fear about the Corona virus pandemic in your letters (keep a positive tone)

  • Do not use offensive, foul, or sexual language

  • Do not share your personal information (address, phone number, email, etc.)

 

Other Guidelines and thoughts to consider

  • Please keep in mind the mixed literacy levels among students and try to write appropriately

  • Please be aware of the reality of our students’ current situation (they are likely spending a lot of time indoors--perhaps in isolation-- they are not able to have visitors)

  • Please keep in mind that your students likely will not be able to write back

  • It's very possible that students are held on the same unit at the facility and they may share their letters, so trying to make at least one aspect of them unique/different would be good (ex. tell one your favorite holiday tradition and the other your favorite holiday food).  But don't overwhelm yourself with trying to write completely different things to each of them.  Just one little difference could be enough!

 

Templates and Related

  • Below, we have included some templates for you in case you feel like you need some guidance and help. You do not need to use these.

  • We kindly ask that you submit your letters in PDF form as it is easiest for printing (though JPEG and word docs are also accepted).

    • We recommend the free app Genius Scan, which you can use to scan your handwritten cards and email to yourself as a PDF before submitting to us through the portal​

    • If taking a picture, you can use this website to remove the background and make the letter look better, though this is not required!

  • Don’t be afraid to be creative -- write a poem, sketch out a picture, practice your calligraphy! 

  • While handwritten letters are not required, they are strongly encouraged.

  • Note that your notecards or letters will likely end up being printed out on 8”x11” white paper, in black and white.  Some might get printed in color, but we can’t control that. 

 

Thank you!!! 

Templates

Click the below to access google draw template

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Matchings List

Find the school ID you have been matched with below