It is important that you read the guidelines below before starting to volunteer with Brighten A Day. Thank you!

Cards and Letters

Ideas of cards/letters can be found towards the bottom of this page. During COVID-19, cards are sanitized before distribution.


  1. Wondering what to make or write? Share something about yourself, such as some of your interests. You can also include jokes, riddles, puzzles, drawings, etc. that would bring a smile to the recipient.
  2. Please mail all of your cards/notes in one envelope/box. It is optional to put your individual cards and notes in envelopes, as many facilities screen cards before distributing them. Please do not seal/glue your smaller, individual envelopes, if you choose to include them.
  3. Please write legibly, preferably in large print, so that the recipients don’t have any difficulty reading your cheerful messages.
  4. Please write your full name on the envelope/box in which you mail your cards/letters, so we can confirm we have received them.
  5. Make the cards and notes uplifting.
  6. Feel free to repeat designs and messages in multiple cards/letters! Each of them goes to a different facility.
  7. Facilities don’t give us the personal information (such as first names or gender) for the recipients of the cards and notes. Please keep them generic. You can start out with “hello” or “dear friend,” or any other ideas you have.
  8. If you are bilingual, we encourage you to make cards and notes in different languages!
  9. Be creative, kind, and thoughtful! We’ve gotten encouraging messages, quotes, poems, drawings, paintings, origami, and much more from volunteers. Send anything which would brighten someone’s day.
  10. You can make your cards and notes for specific occasions, like birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah, etc. If you are doing so, please mail your cards at least 2 weeks before the holiday so there is sufficient time for screening and mailing.
  11. Share pictures or videos of yourself making cards or writing letters if you would like to be featured on our social media.


  1. Don’t refer to sickness or health (like “get well soon”).
  2. Please don’t include any negative thoughts (for example, don’t write comments like “I know you are lonely right now” or “after every storm comes a rainbow”). Please also don’t include messages like “I know these are tough times” and avoid referring to the pandemic.
  3. Avoid mentioning anything that indicates that the recipient of your card/letter is in a negative situation. For example, avoid messages like “Stay strong” or “hang in there.”
  4. Please do not include the date, month, or year on the card/letter. This way, if we receive your cards or letters later, we can still pass them out later.
  5. Don’t include your location, private information (like phone number, address, email address etc.) on the card/letter. You can sign off your first name.
  6. Please don’t solicit information from the recipients. These are one-way exchanges.
  1. We accept donations of all devices that are functional and preferably camera-enabled so seniors can video chat with seniors.
  2. Examples include Apple, Android, Amazon Kindles, etc.
  3. Once you fill out our volunteer form, we can share more information about how to give your device.
Volunteer Hours
  1. Please let us know if you require verification for volunteer hours. Once your cards are done, we will share a mandatory form which must be filled out before mailing and verification of hours.
  2. This guideline applies only to those who are requesting service hours: Your cards must be larger than 4.25 in x 5.5 in (a standard greeting card size). For example, if you have cardstock paper that is 8.5×11, and you fold it in half, you can use that for your cards.
  3. Please do not type your letters.
  4. At this time, we cannot offer hours for court-ordered service.
  5. Once we receive your mailed cards, we can verify your hours.
  6. Please make/write something you would have loved to receive yourself.
Excellent Examples
Easier Examples