Our Girl Advisory Board has a unified voice when it comes to responding to COVID-19: We want to help.
This week they’re taking action and you can, too.
“Hi, My name is Alex! (Well Alexandra really, but Alex for short) I am writing to tell you something very important. You have to do one thing a day that makes you smile.” This is what ninth-grader, Alex, thought someone quarantined in a nursing home might need to hear. She, along with her fellow Girl Advisory Board, are sending love notes to nursing homes who are ready to receive them.
This is leadership, and Alex has been learning to write uplifting and specific notes like these for years. They are a tradition at Girls Leadership that goes back to our first summer program ever.
We write a love note to someone to say how we appreciate them by acknowledging their actions or attributes that are associated with our core values of courageous growth, authentic communication, play, community, and equity. Rather than complimenting someone on their appearance or material possessions like “I really like your nail polish” or “You look so pretty,” we say something like:
“Naysa, you were really brave at the ropes course. I remembered you saying you were scared but you did it! Awesome job”
“Kaila, thanks for raising your hand and asking that question today in the workshop. I was confused too and didn’t want to say anything, but because you asked the question, I was able to better understand the instructions.”
Naysa and Kaila aren’t just two random names for those examples —they’re members of our Girl Advisory Board. The Girl Advisory Board is a group of girls from around the U.S. who meet twice a week on Zoom with Summer Camp Director, Iris Perkins. Before their classes and other school functions were moved online, these teens have been staying connected and working on their mission virtually for over a year. Using Zoom and online fundraising, they came together as a team last November to meet for their first in-person meeting at a leadership conference with Disney Youth Education Program at Disneyland!
In this moment of challenge the Girl Advisory Board is eager to lead, to contribute to communities most impacted by COVID-19. Like most of us, they are struggling with how to support and show solidarity from their homes to communities most affected by ‘shelter-in-place’ and social distancing orders. Specifically, they were concerned about communities in nursing homes and assisted living with very limited to no contact with their loved ones.
The Girl Advisory Board met over these past two weeks to identify how they can use their leadership and experience to support these communities in these uncertain and stressful times.
This week they felt energized and moved by the idea to take one of their beloved summer traditions and mobilize it into action—love notes! Each board member wrote 10 love notes to a nursing home in Illinois that is accepting letters. After a mandated hold, the nursing home is sharing these love notes with their members and patients.
The Girl Advisory Board invites you to write love notes to those who might need to hear that they are not alone. Here’s how to get started:
Write 10 love notes. Keep it simple and feel free to decorate it..
What name should you put on the love note? Address it with, “Hi There!” or “Hello, My name is ____.”; even though you don’t know them, they will get the chance to know you. Here is an example from board member Alex.
Address The Envelope
Look up nursing homes, assisted living facilities or wellness centers in your area to send love notes. Before mailing your love note, make sure you write the full address in the middle and return address in the top left corner. On the seal of the letter write, “Recommended HOLD for 24-48 hours.” Here is an example:
If you don’t want to use your address, feel free to use ours as the return address:
111 Myrtle St, Ste 101
Oakland, CA 94501
Invite people to join you
Do a challenge on social media to get your friends, family, and classmates involved. Make it a family night activity. Ask your friends during a Facetime session to do this with you while you’re on the call.
Tag Girls Leadership
If you’re up for sharing ideas on what to say or creative decorating tips, tag us on Facebook (facebook.com/girlsleadershipinstitute) or Instagram (@girlsleadership) and hashtag #GLLoveNotes and #AllKindsOfPowerful. We’d love to see your love notes and share them as inspiration for the rest of our community.