HOLYOKE — In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kellie Welch has found that writing is a way to help.
Welch has taken pen to paper for a project she founded called Write Aid. Her mission is to write for people in return for donations to GetUsPPE (getusppe.org), a new website founded by a group of medical professionals on the front lines of the pandemic. GetUsPPE coordinates donations of needed masks, gloves, and gowns to hospitals and healthcare professionals.
Since the launch of Write Aid on Instagram (@welchkell), Welch has written sonnets about dogs and cats, poetry about sourdough and happiness, a fictional Twitter thread, and a play about birds. Requests have come from friends locally, as well as from Boston, New York City, and Texas.
“Words are my reliable outlet and really all I have to offer while at home, but even they have felt empty lately,” Welch said. “Let’s work together to raise money and use storytelling to uplift each other. I will write you anything — a letter to a friend, a sonnet about your labradoodle, a eulogy for someone you’ve lost, a Dear John letter to that person you were sort of seeing before this happened. The sky’s the limit. Tell your friends! The more random things I write, the more money we raise.”
After having lived in New York City for nearly 10 years, Welch moved back to Western Mass. last fall. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of General Studies, where she studied anthropology and was part of the university’s Honor Society. She is a singer and songwriter whose lyrics have won awards in international songwriting competitions, including American Songwriter and Songdoor International. She currently works as a writer for an educational nonprofit organization.