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Kentridge Student Initiates Local Chapter of Letters for Rose

Elise Stanigar, a Kentridge High School running start student, is genuinely passionate about serving her Kent community. In April 2021, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she stumbled upon a TikTok featuring information about opening a local chapter of Letters for Rose, an organization dedicated to combating loneliness among elders nationwide. She saw this as an opportunity to give back to Kent's senior community and successfully initiated a local chapter in the area, developing it into a club at Kentridge High School. "I can do something in lockdown and give back to my community," Elise said about her decision to start the club. "I've always been driven to do things where I'm helping people and the planet. It was a chance to do something for my home that will make a difference."

Letters for Rose's founders, Annika and Layla, formed the organization in June 2020 after learning they could no longer volunteer weekly at their local nursing home due to the pandemic. They still wanted to stay in contact with the residents they'd connected with, so the founders decided to organize teenagers in their town to write letters to the local nursing home where they used to volunteer. Then, they expanded their idea and found interested leader volunteers nationwide. Letters for Rose now has chapters in over 20 states in the USA. Talking about the student involvement in the club, Elise said, "I think it's a really great way to connect two very separate generations together." 

The club at Kentridge High School currently has 30 members, and Elise is looking to the future with an eye on expansion. She has plans not only for recruiting her peers in high school but also for middle and elementary students. "Back in 2021, I worked with Daniel Elementary to make letters with sixth and second graders." She said. "They wrote some really beautiful letters. We definitely want to keep that going at elementary and middle schools." Through Letters for Rose, Elise utilizes her leadership talents and works diligently to better the community around her.

Please visit the Letters for Rose website for more information about this organization.