VANCOUVER -- One of the groups hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic is seniors.

A recent report from the Office of the Seniors Advocate looked at the impact of visitor restrictions put in place in B.C. as a way to prevent seniors from being exposed to the novel coronavirus.

The findings of a survey suggested the biggest fear of those in long-term and assisted-living facilities is not contracting COVID-19, but is instead not getting to spend quality, meaningful time with their loved ones as they near the end of their life. 

Seniors and their families reported feelings of isolation and a negative impact on mental health.

As a way to bring a smile to the faces of some of those seniors, a Vancouver-based social services organization asked for something simple: homemade valentines for residents of long-term care.

Organizers at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House said they initially had a goal of about 150 cards, to be delivered to four care homes. But as of Thursday morning, they'd delivered cards to more than 3,000 seniors and 1,500 care-home staff members.

"This initiative has really given an opportunity both to reach seniors in care but as well as for the community to feel they can contribute and feel connected to those at greatest need," said the organization's Claudine Matlo.

The Mount Pleasant team says it delivered cards from kids as young as three years old, and from as far away as Ontario.