[HARRISBURG, PA] – As social distancing recommendations and cold weather require Pennsylvanians to see less of their loved ones, Transforming Health partners provide resources to promote important and meaningful acts of kindness.
WITF, Capital BlueCross and WellSpan Health partner together for the Transforming Health “Fill PA With Love” cards of caring initiative, distributing free postcards to send to Pennsylvanians who may feel lonely.
Together, WITF, Capital BlueCross and WellSpan Health are offering free postcards as part of the “Fill PA With Love” cards of caring initiative, the next project in Transforming Health’s “Here With You” campaign. Anyone can request a postcard collection to write messages of encouragement to send to people that may feel alone this season.
“Our community needs our love now more than ever,” said Cara Williams Fry, WITF senior vice president of content. “We’re asking our neighbors to help fight the winter blues and pandemic isolation by sending someone inspiring words of comfort and support. Together, we can fill Pennsylvania with love.”
Transforming Health seeks to support residents that may have even less interaction with the outside world than normal. It partnered with over 15 organizations, including local skilled-nursing facilities, shelters and Meals on Wheels groups, to distribute postcards to people that could use “a little sunshine.” Over 1,800 postcards are pre-addressed to partner organizations in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.
Two examples of the postcard designs that feature a heart shape in a natural setting, ready to send a note of encouragement as part of Transforming Health’s “Fill PA With Love” cards of caring initiative.
Six bright postcard designs feature an unexpected heart shape in a natural setting. The initiative suggests participants customize each postcard, and write “a message of love, hope, community and caring that would brighten the day of a fellow Pennsylvanian.” The postcards are packaged in groups of three, with two postcards pre-addressed to partner organizations and one left blank for the participant to send to anyone they choose. The staff of partner organizations will collect the postcards and hold them in a secure environment for 48 hours as a precaution to spreading the coronavirus. Then, they will distribute the “Fill PA With Love” cards of caring to their residents. All postcards are pre-stamped, so senders do not have to pay for postage. Participants may request from one to five collections, or up to 15 postcards total at the website TransformingHealth.org.
“We’re excited to see the love spread from Central Pennsylvania to our friends and family from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, from Erie to Allentown,” said Heather Woolridge, director of community engagement at WITF. “We hope to bring our community together through sharing joy and sending smiles.”
Each heart on the “Fill PA With Love” map identifies a zip code where participants will send a postcard to someone “who could use a smile.”
Throughout the campaign, a map on the website tracks where the cards are sent. When participants request card collections, they can submit which zip code they will send their postcard to. Currently, the map has over 100 hearts pinned in Pennsylvania and will be updated at least once a week with new zip codes.
“These postcards can provide a much-needed sense of connectedness and a spirit of positivity, which is always important, but especially during times like these,” said Capital BlueCross Behavioral Health Director Karie Batzler. “The events of this past year have certainly impacted mental wellness for many of us, and small gestures to let people know we are thinking of them can have a big impact on wellbeing.”
Transforming Health launched the “Here With You” campaign in June 2020 in response to the ongoing mental and physical needs of navigating life in a pandemic. In December, it distributed 735 “Here With You for the Holidays Grab & Go Bags” through the Capital Area Head Start to children in Harrisburg. On March 20, the campaign continues with “Spring Into Motion,” a free 13- week community challenge featuring a calendar of daily activities for each day of spring. In June, Transforming Health will announce its selection for the 2021 A Summer Read.
“Fill PA With Love” cards of caring can be requested through the end of February. The request form and details for the Transforming Health “Here With You” campaign can be found at transforminghealth.org.
About WITF WITF is a trusted provider of public media news and programming for approximately 2.3 million citizens in 19 counties of Central Pennsylvania, encouraging children and adults to Live Inspired®. A member station of PBS and NPR, WITF uses its broadcast and digital media to connect us to each other and to opportunities for lifelong learning. In 2012, WITF launched Transforming Health to address the rapid changes in the healthcare landscape. Transforming Health is about health care, its quality and its costs, but most importantly it’s about maintaining health in the first place, through individual and collective action. WITF, in partnership with Capital BlueCross and WellSpan Health, are dedicated to empowering Central Pennsylvanians to make choices that lead to better personal health and a strengthened community. For more information, visit transforminghealth.org.
About Capital BlueCross
For more than 80 years, Capital BlueCross has served Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley by offering health insurance products, services and technology solutions that provide peace of mind to consumers and promote health and wellness for our members. The company delivers innovative solutions through a family of diversified businesses to create healthier lives and lower healthcare costs. Among these solutions are patient-focused care models, leading-edge data analytics and digital health technologies. Additionally, Capital Blue Connect health and wellness centers provide in-person service and inspiration to help people reach their health goals. Capital BlueCross is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association.
About WellSpan Health WellSpan Health is an integrated health system that serves the communities of central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. The organization is comprised of more than 1,600 employed physicians and advanced practice providers, a regional behavioral health organization, a home care organization, eight respected hospitals, approximately 20,000 employees, and more than 200 patient care locations. WellSpan is a charitable, mission-driven organization, committed to exceptional care for all, lifelong wellness and healthy communities.