“I deeply appreciate the hard work and creativity that went into this – just to bring a smile to my face,” said Marysol Hohl, a 2020 graduate of Gaithersburg High School. “I loved the sweet rhyme scheme in the poem. This card really made me smile and feel optimistic about my future,” said Hohl who will be attending Liberty University in Virginia this fall.

Hohl was one of 30 local graduating seniors who received a congratulatory card made by residents from Landow House and Cohen-Rosen House. Each card was

artistically decorated and included a poem and motivational message. “I want all young people to know they’re stronger than they think. That’s something that took time for me to recognize,” Landow House resident Winnifred Meiselman said. According to Meiselman, she made a card to uplift someone during this difficult time, “I hope my words encouraged and inspired the graduate who received them.”

“My heart goes out to the graduates this year. Something they’ve been looking forward to has been unfortunately disrupted,” Landow House resident Audrey Rabinowitz said. “We wanted to make the cards to let them know that someone was thinking of them.”

Montgomery College graduate Carlo Vakas volunteered at Landow House in 2019 through Opening Minds Through Art (OMA), an intergenerational expressive arts program designed to create social connections between volunteers while stimulating creativity, so when he received a card in the mail from Audrey and Sid Rabinowitz, he immediately wrote them back saying, “It was a pleasure hearing from you both! The card was beautifully crafted. It truly warmed my heart to receive this.”

CESLC community partner Linked Generations delivered the cards to high school graduates. Some, including Hohl, volunteered on campus through Linked Generations prior to COVID-19 and sent letters to residences throughout the current pandemic.

“I’m grateful for the intergenerational activities that continued through these times. I’ve felt so happy to be a part of a program that makes people feel loved. I was especially touched when the older adults reached out to wish me a happy graduation,” said Hohl.