Isobel Martinez

Letters from a 6-year-old keeping people connected through lockdown
Found in: Stories
Isobel Martinez

Isobel Martinez, a 6-year-old living in Auckland, reckons there’s no better way to stay in touch during lockdown than by writing and delivering letters. We caught up with Awesome Aucklander Bel to find out about the incredible efforts she’s gone to to brighten people’s day the old-fashioned way! 

Like many other tamariki in Auckland, Bel has been really missing school, so she started writing letters to her friends and teachers to stay connected. But her empathetic and kind nature soon saw her letter writing extend to elderly neighbours, police officers, healthcare workers, supermarket workers and even the Prime Minister. 

“I have lots of elderly neighbours. I’m the only kid in this house and I felt a bit lonely, so I thought everyone else would probably be lonely too. That’s why I started writing letters, to stay in touch”, Bel says. 

Bel decided to scan and email some of her letters to reach even more people than those she could deliver to personally. “My aunty is a police officer, so I wrote a letter to the police, and she put it on the noticeboard at her work for everyone to see.

It’s true that kindness spreads – Bel has a whole folder full of letters that people have written back to her. Her mum, Sam, says, “nobody really writes any more – our elderly neighbours have loved it and have really enjoyed writing back because they’ve been isolated and haven’t had much to do in lockdown.” Bel’s favourite response is a personal letter from the Prime Minister, thanking her for the lovely pictures she drew and for being so caring by writing to essential workers.

Bel doesn’t have any intention of stopping her letter writing any time soon. “Even if it’s not lockdown, I’ll still do it. It’s pretty fun once you get into the writing. Drawing pictures and saying nice things in my letters is the best part. It makes me feel happy and I just want to be kind to everyone.”

Tamariki like Bel prove that you’re never too young to help others. Thank you to Bel for spreading kindness and creativity this lockdown – your community is very lucky to have you!

Isobel Martinez