A lonely senior citizen named Wanda took a very brave step recently, when she decided to go out into the world and make friends — no matter how difficult it might be.
At 90 years old, Wanda lives a very isolated life. Unfortunately, that’s a rather common situation for elderly folks, who live on their own and may have outlived friends and family.
Situations like Wanda’s are heartbreakingly common, so we encourage everyone to reach out if there’s a lonely senior citizen in their neighborhood, the way this little girl did when she met Mr. Dan at the local shopping center.
In Wanda’s case, she had never met any of her neighbors, so no one knew to check in on her.
That’s when she took matters into her own hands.
She left a note on the front door of a lady down the street, asking to be friends.
That lady turned out to be Marleen Brooks, and from the moment she read the note, she decided to take Wanda into her life with open arms!
Scroll through below for more details on this heartwarming story.
People all over the world rediscovered the power of simple human kindness this week, after Wanda’s heartbreaking note started circulating on the Facebook page of news anchor Frank Somerville.
He shared the note in hopes of drumming up support for the lonely senior citizen. The once sad story developed a heartwarming ending all on its own.
Now, the note and its happy conclusion have blown up online, with nearly 10,000 people reacting to the original note, and more than 2,000 sharing the sweet words to help raise awareness about Wanda’s situation.
The whole story started when mom Marleen Brooks came home and found a heartbreaking note on her door, posted there by the elderly lady, Wanda, living down the street.
The note read:
Would you consider to become my friend.
I’m 90 years old — live alone.
All my friends have passed away.
I’m so lonesome and scared.
Please, I pray for someone.
Marleen posted the note on Facebook, along with the caption:
Came home to this note from a lady that lives down the street from me.
Makes my heart sad, but on the bright side it looks like I will be getting a new friend.
I wanted to post this as a reminder that there are a lot of lonely people out there.
Especially elderly people.
If you know someone like that in your neighborhood maybe consider going over to their home and saying hi.
Maybe bring them some cookies, too.
I guarantee that you will make their day.
But at the same time you may also make a new friend.
How great would that be?
Delighted to be making a new friend, Marleen went over to Wanda’s house right away.
She learned that Wanda was very lonely and isolated. She had outlived her friends.
Fortunately, one of her sons lives right next door. But Wanda still needed friendships outside of her family.
Wanda also has a number of medical ailments, and is on oxygen. At her age, it’s not too easy to get out of the house.
Fortunately, she now has a wonderful new friend in Marleen, and hopefully a brand-new social circle in her neighborhood, thanks to her accidental internet fame!
She never expected to go viral, but according to Marleen, she is delighted to be helping to get the word out about the problems seniors face.
Meanwhile, Marleen is also hard at work making sure that Wanda, and other folks like her, will never be short on friends again.
Marleen set up a Facebook group called Pen Pals For Seniors, which you can join if you’re interested in brightening up a senior citizen’s day by becoming a long-distance friend!
You can also send letters directly to the P.O. Box set up for the project:
Pen Pals for Seniors
PO Box 1184
Farmington, MO 63640
Marleen and Wanda’s story is a powerful reminder about the importance of taking care of elderly folks in our own communities.
Isolation is very common among senior citizens, and studies have linked loneliness to earlier mortality rates.
If you suspect there’s an elderly person in your neighborhood who needs some help, here’s what you can do!
- Introduce yourself and visit
- Try to figure out if there are family members in the picture
- Help get in touch with state social services (if needed)
- Help set up Meals on Wheels or a similar service
- Offer to drive them to church, the senior center, or other social settings
- Help out with small favors like occasional hot meals or light cleaning
Be sure to SHARE this story to celebrate Marleen’s kindness, and to help raise awareness about the dangers of social isolation for elderly folks!