The Widowed Pen Pal Program

The following comes to us from Michele Neff Hernandez, founder of Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation, and I'm delighted to share it here:

The SSLF Widowed Pen Pal program, formerly known as Widow Match, can connect you with a peer with whom you can share the ups and downs of the widowhood journey. You may choose to connect by email, phone, or whatever feels comfortable.

Peer support can be an invaluable resource for widowed people of all ages. You might talk about things other people don't understand, air feelings that are overwhelming, or just discuss what happened during your day. Most of all, you will know that you are not alone. Note: Peer support does not take the place of professional counseling, is not a forum for spiritual guidance, or financial or legal advice. These friendships should not be a burden on either party.

The SSLF Widowed Pen Pal program is the only program like this anywhere, with a track record of outstanding friendships since 2009. The SSLF Widowed Pen Pal program is just one of Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation’s innovative and lifesaving programs for widows and widowers.
Our other programs include:
Here’s how The SSLF Widowed Pen Pal program works:
  1. Sign up on our secure site. Widowed Pen Pal registration is integrated with WidowedVillage.org, our online community and you will automatically be a member there as well. (You are not required to participate).
    When you get to this question: "Would you like to sign up for The Widowed Pen Pal program?" click "Yes!"
  2. Within a day or two, you should be "verified" and ready to go. Members outside the U.S. and those with incomplete applications may take longer.
  3. Within a week, you will receive an email that includes the names and e-mail addresses of up to three people who answered the questions in a similar way to you. If you don’t receive this email within a week, please inquire at contact@sslf.org. The most common problem is simply that our message may be “stuck” in your spam filter.
  4. From this point on, you and your match are in charge. Please send an email introducing yourself to one or more of the individuals. Make sure you mention that you received their name from SSLF’s Widowed Pen Pal program!
  5. We will also add your name to our database as a potential match for people who sign up in the future. This means in addition to your first matching opportunities received from SSLF, you may receive a note from another widowed person who will really appreciate your response.
Our custom software will select individuals who we think you are likely to benefit from corresponding with, based on the factors that widowed people have told us they care about.
If you do not receive a response, we ask that you please not take it personally. In many cases, connecting can be emotionally stressful. Sometimes a person you contact may no longer wish to meet new people. If you do not hear back from folks... or you don’t “click” with the people you meet... please let us know at contact@sslf.org. We will be pleased to provide you with a new set of names. Finding a person to correspond with may take more than one attempt, but we know for experience that the experience of bonding with another widowed person is worth the effort.
Likewise, we ask that if you are no longer interested in receiving a new name once in a while, you let us know: contact@sslf.org.
The SSLF Widowed Pen Pal Program, formerly known as Widow Match, has helped create some incredible, life-long friendships that continued “in person” and endured through the next stages of life, beyond grief. Please check out the range of programs Soaring Spirits offers. We welcome your feedback, your time (most of our programs are volunteer-run), and your financial support. The Widowed Pen Pal program and most of our programs are free, and making a gift will never affect the services you receive.
SIGN UP NOW!

1 comment:

  1. This is a fantastic program. Though I am not a widower, I have had a lot of "experience" in life. Writing has helped me overcome many things. I have several pen pals whom I keep in constant contact with. My pens and letter opener sure get a work out! I do agree that though it's good to use your pen pal for support, it isn't the same as therapy, which is something I have also used. Still, writing about anything is cathartic, and it helps you gain insight about yourself and your surroundings. I wish you all the best.

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