BOZEMAN- This holiday season is going to be tough with older loves ones being isolated because of the pandemic, but Sacajawea Middle School student Mikey Andersen is putting pen to paper to talk with his grandparents in hopes that other will do the same.
Andersen's campaign is called "Share Our Montana Stories" looking to get kids to write letters to seniors asking about their childhood holiday memories.
“I was told that we weren’t going to get to see my grandparents this holiday season which is a big change and so my mom told me to write a letter to kind of have that connection," Andersen explained. "I was just thinking about what I should write and I realized that I’ve really never asked them about holidays when they were a kid.”
Andersen is backed by the Sacajawea Middle School Parent Advisory Council 501c3 as well as local businesses that have helped him turn his work into a school initiative to get the word out to everyone.
The hope is that kids and teens will join him in writing letters to the older generation whether it is their own grandparent, older family friends, or even reaching out to a nursing home.
Andersen said to ask an elder for a reply letter about a holiday story or memory from the past and says the whole goal is to bring back that personal connection that might get lost during this tough holiday season.
“I just think this will really help not only isolated like elders in their homes but just everybody and it’ll give kids a sense of like what they’re doing to help out their community and just relieve a little stress and like for a long time during quarantine," Andersen said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also affected Andersen himself being just an eighth grade student.
"For a long time during quarantine I really didn’t talk to anybody I was just texting my friends so I think this will really give everybody a personal connection that they needed,” Andersen explained.
A link to Mikey Andersen's "Share Our Montana Stories" campaign can be found here with ways that seniors can reach out and examples of letters to get kids started.