Becky Elsbernd, Trinity Parish nurse, and John Derryberry, 43 North Iowa associate director, deliver handwritten letters to 43 North Iowa in Mason City earlier this week.

​Handwritten letters arrived in the mailboxes of six 43 North Iowa clients this week.

The letters are part of a new pen pal program parishioners from Trinity Lutheran Church in Mason City started to help connect individuals with disabilities to the community in which they live.

“It’s a benefit for both of them, both people in the pen pal partnership,” said Becky Elsbernd, Trinity Parish nurse who’s coordinating the volunteer program between the church and 43 North Iowa. “It’s really going to be a good thing for everyone.”

The pen pal program is part of a larger effort the church launched last fall with 43 North Iowa, an organization that connects hundreds of people with disabilities to job and housing opportunities in their communities, after receiving a grant from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, or ELCA, related to mental health and disabilities ministry.

The church approached 43 North Iowa seeking ways its parishioners could assist their clients.