Pandemic Pen Pal Initiative

United Way is Connecting Senior Citizens to Anonymous Pen Pals


Spring Hill, FL – (April 13, 2020) – In hopes of inspiring people to stay connected by staying apart, United Way of Hernando County is encouraging residents to become a Pandemic Pen Pal. United Way will match 100 nominated Hernando senior citizens with 100 anonymous pen pal submissions, which can consist of positive letters, artwork, encouraging words, personal stories, creative poems, or other types of written correspondence.

With the uncertainty of COVID-19 permeating daily life, it can be easy to feel isolated from one another. Those most affected by the Stay at Home order are often those most at risk—the senior population. With approximately 30% of Hernando County’s population being over the age of 65, many residents may feel disconnected during this crisis with active social distancing. Pandemic Pen Pals was created to connect people with a positive message reminding them there is someone out there who cares.

Become a Pandemic Pen Pal:

Visit to send United Way your positive words of encouragement. All letters or materials can be typed, handwritten, or uploaded using the webform. United Way will send all submissions and heartfelt words to a senior citizen via USPS. 

Nominate a Senior Citizen:

If you know of a local family member, friend, or neighbor who could use a little sunshine, they can be nominated using the same webform at United Way will mail any received letters from a happy to help pen pal. All seniors will be kept anonymous, to protect the privacy of those involved.

The Pandemic Pen Pal initiative comes as a result of United Way of Hernando County’s #UNITEDUpbeats initiative on social media. “During this global pandemic we were looking to find a fun and creative way to bring joy to people’s lives and that’s how we came up with #UNITEDUpbeats,” explains Angie Walasek, United Way Executive Director. “Our goal is to share something positive every day and encourage community members to join in. #UNITEDUpbeats was created before the Stay at Home order was put into effect and we feel now more than ever how important it is to stay in touch, even virtually. Our goal is to continue to engage with the community and share positive promotions and resources. To see our daily dose of positivity, follow United Way of Hernando County on Facebook and look for our #UNITEDUpbeats posts.”

For more resources and local information on COVID-19, visit United Way’s “Give Help, Get Help” Resource Page at




United Way of Hernando County, Inc.:
United Way of Hernando County (UWHC) was established as a 501c3 organization in 1987, and since then has continuously focused on creating partnerships and mobilizing our community to seek sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing local needs.  UWHC strategically allocates Community Investment Funds in Health, Education, & Financial Stability programs with proven results and local impact. UWHC works hard to balance the growing demand for basic services such as food, utilities, and rent assistance, with our ongoing commitment to tackling the underlying causes of complex issues. United Way partners with businesses and organizations that share our vision for improving lives through the power of collective impact and working together. Our support for long-term commitments are essential to addressing key social issues, such as helping children, youth, adults & elders, encouraging health and wellness, including physical and emotional care, promoting financial stability and self-sufficiency, and crisis intervention. For more information on how YOU can LIVE UNITED, visit