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Lee Students Write Notes to Legacy Senior Living Communities

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (August 31, 2020) – Lee University students recently wrote letters to residents at 14 Legacy Senior Living communities across the Southeast to let them know they have not been forgotten, even during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.


As classes moved online in the spring, leaders at Lee University came up with the idea of letter writing as a way to engage students in their service requirements for the year. When it came time to put the plan into action, Dr. Dewayne Thompson, dean of the School of Business, reached out to two Lee alumni, Barry Ray and Bryan Cook, co-founders of Legacy Senior Living.


“Service is a core value that Lee University not only talks about, but practices,” said Thompson. “Since many of our service opportunities were restricted by the advent of COVID-19, it occurred to us that residents in long-term care were impacted as well. Realizing the potential loneliness for these residents, we knew the energy and compassion of our students would provide relief. It was incredible to see our students willingly embrace this project as if they were writing to their grandparents. This made me so very proud of our Lee students.”


According to Thompson, all schools at the university engaged their students in the note writing campaign, which resulted in over 800 residents receiving encouraging notes. Students devoted their 10 required service hours per semester to the letter writing campaign.


“We were thrilled about this partnership with Lee University to create an inter-generational opportunity between college students and our residents, many of whom represent the ‘greatest generation,’” said Ray. During the COVID-19 restrictions, family visitations at all 14 Legacy Senior Living facilities were stopped, affecting all family-resident in-person interaction.


“This void of family interaction has been tough on these residents, and they look forward to visitation and socialization,” said Ray. “The note writing campaign was a huge blessing to the residents during this tough season.”


The letters, collected at the Legacy Senior Living corporate support center in Cleveland, were distributed to the residents who live in Legacy Senior Living memory care and assisted living communities in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia.


“When the team at Lee reached out to us, we knew the residents would love receiving these letters,” said Cook. “Notes like these always bring a smile to the residents’ faces, and we are grateful to the students who have taken the time and effort to encourage our residents in such a compassionate and loving way. We are thankful to them and the administration for coming up with this great idea!”


The student letters form a new component of Legacy Senior Living's intentional steps to ensure its residents know they are not alone during the pandemic. Legacy Senior Living communities regularly keep their residents remotely connected with loved ones via FaceTime meetings, window-side visits, and Facebook posts.


Legacy Senior Living operates a family of senior living communities throughout the Southeast specializing in independent living, assisted living, or Alzheimer's care services. Headquartered in Cleveland, Tennessee, the company is committed to serving the “Greatest Generation” with honor, respect, faith, and integrity.

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PHOTO CAPTIONS: (1) Legacy staff member Tracey Hansel reads a letter from a Lee University student to resident Jack Hansel. (2) Candace Everett, administrative assistant of operations for Legacy Senior Living, sorts through more than 200 letters received from Lee University students.


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About Legacy Senior Living - Cleveland, TN

Legacy Senior Living operates a family of senior living communities throughout the Southeast specializing in independent living, assisted living or Alzheimer’s care services. Headquartered in Cleveland, Tenn., the company is committed to serving the ‘Greatest Generation’ with honor, respect, faith and integrity.More information is available at legacysl.net or by calling (423) 478-8071.