SHARING SMILES NOTES2020-09-04T12:05:03-04:00

Sharing Smiles Notes

Sharing Smiles

Created as a response to increased social isolation during the pandemic, Sharing Smiles allows people from older and younger generations to connect safely with each other through email. We work with hundreds of individuals and dozens of groups as note writers. Check out more on Sharing Smiles, when ETA was featured as one of “Harris’ Heroes” on NBC4!

Individual Sign Up
Group Sign Up

Click below for details.

Here’s how it works!

What’s step one?2020-06-11T11:05:15-04:00

Sign up using our online form.  We’ll ask your name, age, and address (email or mailing address, depending on which you want to use).

Then what?2020-06-10T13:53:14-04:00

ETA staff will review the form and match you with a younger writer who wants to share a friendly note with someone from an older generation. We have younger writers of all ages, but most are children and young adults, age 8-30. Most of our writers are from the U.S. but a few are international.

What do I write?2020-06-10T13:56:21-04:00

Your partner will write to you first! They will share a little about their own lives and ask you questions. We will help them with ideas and prompts. Remember: This is a chance to make a friendly connection with young people who want to reach out while so many people are feeling isolated. Many young people today are not used to writing letters. Please be patient and understanding with them. We encourage young writers to ask polite questions so they can learn about you. Please answer, as far as you feel comfortable, and ask them questions back. It can be fun to find out what you have in common and also how different you may be.

Is this private?2020-06-10T13:57:14-04:00

Yes. The ONLY information each partner has is the other partner’s first name. They write to you via ETA’s dedicated Sharing Smiles email address. Our staff screens their notes and then forwards them on to you. You reply to the same Sharing Smiles email address, and we forward your replies to your partner, so you both remain anonymous to each other.

What if I don’t have email?2020-06-10T13:57:55-04:00

If you don’t use email, or you are signing up on behalf of someone who doesn’t use email, you can have ETA staff send your notes to you by postal mail. Your note-writing partner will not receive your mailing address or your email address, regardless of which you choose to use in the program.

Is this safe?2020-06-10T13:58:33-04:00

Our Sharing Smiles team screens each note before forwarding it to ensure the safety and privacy of both writers. We screen for content including: sensitive medical or financial information; exploitative or manipulative requests; sexual content; threats to self or others; and racist, sexist, or other offensive statements. We will not forward such content, and we reserve the right to terminate from the program any participant who sends inappropriate content.

Here’s how it works!

How old should I be? Can I sign up my child?2020-06-10T13:59:38-04:00

We work with younger writers of all ages, including as young as 4, but most are children and young adults from age 8-30. If you are under age 18, please ask a parent or guardian to complete the online form to sign you up.

What’s step one?2020-06-11T11:05:00-04:00

Sign up using our online form.  We’ll ask your name, age, and email address.

Then what?2020-06-10T14:08:01-04:00

ETA staff will review the form and match you with an older writer who wants to share a friendly note with someone from a younger generation. We have older writers of all ages 60+ but most are 70-90. Most of our writers are from the U.S. but a few are international.

What do I write?2020-06-10T14:08:32-04:00

You will write the first note. We will send you some ideas and prompts when we let you know we’ve found a match for you. We encourage you to share a little about your own life and ask your partner questions. It can be fun to find out what you have in common and also how different you may be. Remember: This is a chance to make a friendly connection and share a smile with an older person in a time when many people are feeling isolated. If you like to draw, write poems, etc., feel free to share your talent!

Is this private?2020-06-10T14:09:04-04:00

Yes. The ONLY information each partner has is the other partner’s first name. They write to you via ETA’s dedicated Sharing Smiles email address. Our staff screens their notes and then forwards them on to you. You reply to the same Sharing Smiles email address, and we forward your replies to your partner, so you both remain anonymous to each other.

What if I don’t have email?2020-06-10T14:09:31-04:00

We ask our younger writers to use email, to simplify the process and minimize our expenses. Children may use a parent’s email address, or their own email address if their parent/guardian permits them to. We welcome photos, scanned artwork, etc., as long as you are mindful of your privacy.

Is this safe?2020-06-10T14:10:01-04:00

Our Sharing Smiles team screens each note before forwarding it to ensure the safety and privacy of both writers. We screen for content including: sensitive medical or financial information; exploitative or manipulative requests; sexual content; threats to self or others; and racist, sexist, or other offensive statements. We will not forward such content, and we reserve the right to terminate from the program any participant who sends inappropriate content.

For group leaders and activity coordinators

If you have a group of older adults who would enjoy ongoing email or postal mail from younger people – great! We work with activity coordinators, social clubs, senior centers, assisted livings, nursing homes, senior classes, religious groups, and more. If you are interested in being in the audience for young musical performers, ask about our Sharing Smiles Virtual Concerts.

If you have a group of youth who would enjoy sending email or postal mail to older adults – great! We work with scout troops, homeschool groups, faith-based groups, sports teams, and more. If your group is interested in performing for residents of older adult living facilities, ask about our Sharing Smiles Virtual Concerts.

What’s step one?2020-06-11T11:04:40-04:00

Sign up using our online form. We’ll ask your name, the name of your group, the age of your participants, and your address (email or mailing address, depending on which you want to use).

Then what?2020-06-10T14:11:37-04:00

ETA staff will review the form and email you to match your group with friendly writers from another generation. We have writers of all ages, from 4-100, but most younger writers are age 8-30 and most older writers are age 60-80.

What do I write?2020-06-10T14:12:07-04:00

The younger writers send the first note, which should be an introduction sharing a little about themselves, sharing good wishes, and asking polite questions. We will suggest ideas and prompts. Older writers are encouraged to reply independently or with the assistance of activity coordinators or other staff. Remember: This is a chance to make a friendly connection with people who want to reach out while so many of us are feeling isolated. It can be fun to find out what you have in common and also how different you may be.

Is this private?2020-06-10T14:12:35-04:00

Yes. The ONLY information each partner has is the other partner’s first name. They write to you via ETA’s dedicated Sharing Smiles email address. Our staff screens their notes and then forwards them on to you. You reply to the same Sharing Smiles email address, and we forward your replies to your partner, so you both remain anonymous to each other.

What if I don’t have email?2020-06-10T14:12:59-04:00

If you don’t use email, or you are signing up on behalf of someone who doesn’t use email, you can have ETA staff send your notes to you by postal mail. Your note-writing partner will not receive your mailing address or your email address, regardless of which you choose to use in the program.

Is this safe?2020-06-10T14:13:29-04:00

Our Sharing Smiles team screens each note before forwarding it to ensure the safety and privacy of both writers. We screen for content including: sensitive medical or financial information; exploitative or manipulative requests; sexual content; threats to self or others; and racist, sexist, or other offensive statements. We will not forward such content, and we reserve the right to terminate from the program any participant who sends inappropriate content.

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