High schoolers launch positive hotline for seniors

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - MARCH 18: An elderly married couple relax on the promenade on March 18, 2020 in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

Students at a high school in Canada have launched a hotline aimed uplifting senior citizens who are alone during the coronavirus pandemic.

Joy4All is a free service that offers positive, recorded phone messages including jokes, stories and upbeat messages.  The initiative helps keep members of at-risk populations safe at home.

“During these challenging times and ongoing public health measures, we know that it is especially difficult for seniors and folks experiencing isolation,” its website said.

Although it was created by students in Calgary for the elderly, anyone can use it.

"We thank them for making this sacrifice for us and want to help them get through this time by giving them happiness and a sense of belonging," according to the website.

For older Americans, some of the people most likely to be affected badly by the pandemic, these unusual days and the social distancing can be difficult.

The key is to maintain some kind of connection, Rev. Michael Pfleger, 70, a charismatic Chicago priest told the Associated Press.

Many “already feel like nobody cares about them, and then add this to it. I just think we’ve got to be very careful about people not being traumatized,” Pfleger said.

Call 1-877-JOY-4-ALL to participate.