CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WATE) – Nursing homes have been among the hardest-hit facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It can be a lonely experience for many seniors sheltering in place. The staff at one facility in Chattanooga has found a way for their residents to stay connected to those they love and make new friends through a unique pen pal program.

The staff at Brookdale Hixson, an assisted living facility, had an idea to keep people connected to one another, including these 15 residents. Workers arranged a pen pal program.

Meet Mr. Gordon Temple, a man who at 85 years old loves woodwork, singing and playing table games. But being separated from his family has made those things hard to enjoy.

“We can talk to them and see them on you know, the cell phones but flesh to flesh, we can’t see our kids,” Temple said.

They also remind us that their residents would love to enjoy in-person visitors too when this is all over.