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Helping seniors find penpals. Helping penpals find seniors. Write a letter. Make a friend. 


Who we are, what we do, and why we need YOU.



Project Penpal is a platform that serves those in nursing homes and assisted living communities who may feel lonely and isolated. We work with the staff to coordinate how many residents would like to receive letters. Then, we let our volunteers know it's time to write! The finished products are mailed directly to the facility and distributed by the staff. We believe nobody should feel alone.

Jessica Burdg
Director and Founder


One summer between college semesters--many, many years ago--I took a short-term job working as an aid in a nursing facility. As I cared for these residents, I saw firsthand how many of them longed for visitors and connection. As volunteers, we can do something about that--for free, minus the cost of a postage stamp and a piece of notebook paper. Letters--the real, folded kind--are beautiful. At Project Penpal, we want you to write more of them . . . and make a friend while you're at it. Somewhere, a senior is waiting to hear from you. Let us connect you.

With love and imperfect penmanship,



We work with the staff of nursing homes and assisted living facilities around the country to coordinate which residents would like to receive letters from our volunteers. Then, we "assign" our volunteers to a particular senior, giving our letter writers only the name and age of their new penpal. We expect our volunteers to write and send the letter within one week of being matched. Letters are mailed directly to the facilities, and the kind staff distributes each to its respective addressee. Of course, we encourage our seniors and volunteers to stay in touch and continue to trade letters back and forth at their own pace, but that is not a requirement. Volunteers may have more than one penpal if they wish, based on need.

UPDATE: We now have Spanish-speaking volunteers ready to reach out to Spanish-speaking seniors!


If you or someone you know is in a position to connect us with an interested nursing home or facility, please click on "Senior Sign Up" above. If you are a volunteer writer--any age, from child to grandparent--please click "Volunteer Sign Up" above.

Please note that, due to privacy and security concerns, we cannot send penpal letters to private home addresses. If you know someone in this situation who is isolated yet ineligible for a letter, email with the subject line "Call Referral." Jessica (or someone else on the team, depending on volume), will call your senior instead.

Nobody should feel alone.

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