‘You are not alone’ -- Michigan teen collects handmade notes for COVID-19 patients

More than 700 cards, notes delivered to patients

A local high school student is ensuring COVID-19 patients feel loved through art.

BEVERLY HILLS, Mich. – A local high school student is ensuring COVID-19 patients feel loved through art.

Isaiah Rubin wanted to come up with a creative way to help coronavirus patients and seniors in nursing homes not feel alone. When his high school closed its doors back in March, Rubin had a lot of time on his hands.

“I wasn’t really doing much. I was at home like playing Xbox, working out here and there with my family,” Rubin said.

He talked to his family about doing something for the community that didn’t involve asking for money.

“My mom was really who got it started," Rubin said. "She was like, ‘We’ve got to do something.’”

His aunt, Ali Otis, is a nurse at Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak. She told Rubin how her patients were feeling isolated and lonely and that’s when the 17-year-old high school Junior came up with the idea for Caring Cards for COVID-19.

Rubin started collecting hand-made greeting cards and get well cards from his friends at Wylie E. Groves High School. He made flyers to help get the word out about his card campaign.

“A lot of these patients are people who can’t return home and are there alone. They can’t see anyone that by themselves," Rubin said. "All they can see are the nurses and so these cards there, where if you’re not alone. Like, we’re in this together. It gives them fuel of hope, I guess, or love and kindness at a time they mostly need it.”

His aunt helped deliver the cards to patients who needed a little cheering up.

“My goal for this whole thing was to form connections with these people,” Rubin said. “To give these people a feeling that people care.”

When other local nurses saw what Rubin and Otis were doing, they started asking for cards for their patients on COVID-19 floors.

Caring Cards for COVID-19 grew from there. Rubin set up several drop box locations where families and children are bringing their own homemade cards.

“On paper, you can become very creative," Rubin said. "I feel like it’s more meaningful with you’ve got the note -- ‘You’re not alone, signed the whole family.’”

Most of the cards feature sweet notes of encouragement and little drawings made by children and parents. Rubin said cards have been coming in from Chicago, France and Italy.

“A whole family can do it like make him as creative as they want. Put some cute cool messages on them," Rubin said. "We want like a short big note saying like, ‘You got this, you’re not alone. We’re here for you.’”

Rubin goes out every week to collect the cards from the drop boxes, then the cards are quarantined for five days before nurses can hand them out to patients. He has collected more than 700 cards and letters, bringing a much needed emotional boost to those need it the most.

“It really does bring an impact on these people who are having a pretty rough time right now," Rubin said.

For more information on Caring Cards for COVID-19 and to find the nearest drop box, visit the official website here.

About the Authors:

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.