What’s a Mail Mission?

It is letters or cards being send for a specific purpose, for example, to cheer someone, remembering our troops, a holiday or milestone birthday.

If you’re new to the world of snail mail, you may wonder, do people actually send letters or cards to complete strangers?

The answer is a resounding YES!

Sometimes you can raise the spirits of s sick or terminally ill child. But sometimes you just don’t make the grade and the child would prefer to hear from your dog instead.

No matter, it is wonderful to see warm wishes sent with kindness and love, all to brighten someone’s day for the cost of a stamp and card (home made even!) or a letter.

Speaking of love, since it’s Valentine’s Day, we are happy to advise that US Marine Veteran Bill White has received over 100,000 Valentines in response to his request earlier this year. (Click here for a short video to see all the cards.)

“Retired Marine Corps Maj. Bill White sits in his formal uniform among some of the Valentine’s Day gifts that he has received in the mail. (Mary Huston/Courtesy Photo)”

A WWII veteran living in Texas requested 100 cards for this 100th birthday and he received 100,000 of them! There is another veteran in Toronto with the same request for his 100th birthday on March 6th – there is still time to send Fred a birthday greeting!

We’ve created a separate Mail Mission thread on our public forum. People who may be looking to send additional mail and positive messages out into the world, can find the information in one thread. Most of these are on-going mail missions covering the troops, to kids in care or at the hospital, people fighting cancer but we’ll post some with deadlines if it makes sense to do so. We’ll try to add more as time allows.

Until then, thanks to the LetterMoians who have already sent their wishes on mail missions to lift someone’s spirits. ♥

Razzle Zazzle ’em

Hey! We had a “Wee Spot of Mail” two weeks ago when LetterMo 2020 started on Saturday, and yesterday we finished our first full week.

Here are the original badges for accomplishing those two parts of the MOL challenge:

Did you earn them? (Even if you didn’t, it’s never too late to start sending letters and people are active in our member fora!)

Also there are still postcards and challenge cards available for purchase through the LetterMo Zazzle store (if you’re not up to printing your own):

Onward to Week Two!

Need an occasion to write?

Just a few days to LetterMo 2020! If you haven’t registered yet, do it as soon as possible so you can get started on February 1 and find some new pen pals if needed. Are you trying to fill your planning calendar with people and reasons to write?

If you feel like you need an occasion to write someone, here are some fun days of the month for you to get in touch. Perhaps it’s one of your favourite foods – you can tell your pen pal why Nutella, pistachios or strawberry is your absolute favourite thing. There are a lot of fun greeting cards, stickers and washi tape that you can show your love. Perhaps you can share your favourite clam chowder or chili recipe. With the list below, you can likely find something interesting that you can put pen to paper to write about.

Happy writing!

** Correction – Open That Bottle Night is actually on February 29 this year instead of the 24.**

Click on the image to load a full page size PDF

That’s a wrap

A heartfelt thank you to all of our members for making LetterMo 2019 a major success.

Our admins will be around, approving new member requests weekly — or as more often is the case this time of year — deleting spam accounts. We’ll also be clearing out inactive, older accounts to reduce the likelihood of spamsters with nefarious intents from gaining access via those accounts.

If you’ve signed up recently, please make sure you drop a hello on our 2019 Introduction thread. On the Postmaster end, your modest interaction within the forum makes it very easy for us to see who is engaging with our community.

We are always excited to hear when folks found great matches who intend to continue their correspondences throughout the year. We would like to remind you that any letter you received during February should be answered, no matter how long the interval between receipt and reply might be. Snail mail people, by virtue of their hobby, are patient folks.

We also remind our members that some folks intended to commit to the LetterMo Challenge only — meaning only answering mail generated in February.

If your original February letter was answered, but you sent a follow up in March or April, you might have to be a bit more patient — like February 2020. We understand that this confusion might be disappointing to some folks.

LetterMo Postmasters consider letters gifts, so we are simply thankful for what we receive and encourage our members to celebrate whatever mailbox bounty they collected this year.

If you are hoping to find additional pen pals who are eager to write currently, check with the various resources shared within our 2019 Forum and/or Facebook group.

After March On… it’s time to Write_On for April Showers of Mail!

Since 2001, April has been known as National Card and Letter Writing Month when it was officially designated by the U.S. Postal Service “to raise awareness of the importance and historical significance of card and letter writing.” Well, it’s no surprise that it’s another favourite month of LetterMoians too!

Egg Press in Portland, Oregon, started the WriteOn Campaign in 2014 with the hopes of creating a letter writing habit by completing the joyful task and challenge to write 30 letters in 30 days during April. Their mission is to “promote joy, creativity, expression, and connection through hand-written correspondence.” They have a great list of resources including templates and printables. Need to stock up to get through the month? They have a limited supply of special #Write_On merchandise available and have a special offer on qualifying online purchases through March 31st with special code.

Do you enjoy meeting other card and letter writing fans? Check out their calendar for events or the Directory of Letter Writing Societies to see if there is a group in near you to see if they are having a meet up. Most of them also accept mail too so you could add them to your list! The directory was created earlier in 2019 by Megan Hillman, the founder and letter-writer-in-chief of the Colorado Correspondence Coalition. Please contact her if you have started your own letter writing club and want to be added to the list.

Still looking for someone in addition to your LetterMo friends to write to in order to meet your goal of 30 mail items? Consider #MissionMail – from the LetterMo STAMP (bingo) game P2: Participate in a Mail Mission – Members have already posted several ways to put positivity into the world via mail” by sending words of encouragement and support, and to bring a bright spot to someone’s day.  They include: US Military members or being a Soldiers’ Angel, Canadian Forces  members, Mail More Love to folks who have been nominated,  Prisoners, EldersFoster Youth, Hospitalized Kids, Peace Corps members,Long distance truck drivers, and showing support and solidarity after tragedy in Christchurch , New Zealand. You can also check the LetterMo Facebook Groupas members post other mail writing campaigns they come across.

Do you want to track your letter writing? Check out this collaboration stamp by Rhea of @MailMoreLove and Paper Pastries to show what number piece of mail you’re on #/30, as well as all the other adorable mail related rubber stamps. Speaking of stamps, these are my current personal favourite snail mail stamps from Wit & Whistle.

Does the idea of 30 Items still seem daunting? Consider Pretty by Post’s #SendCardsSpreadLove Challenge which runs April 15-19. Danielle, PbP’s Chief card curator & paper lovah, asks if you have 5 days (yes, just 5!) to dedicate to your loved ones to create deeper connections by sending cards and spreading love that will become keepsakes that will last a lifetime. When you sign up, you will receive an email with the #SendCardsSpreadLove Challenge outline as well as a special code for limited time offer for free shipping if you’re interested in ordering curated greeting cards and stationery. You will also receive tips, resources and you can enter to win daily prizes when you post your entry in the private Facebook Group or Instagram. Sign up today and get all the details about this fun challenge. The official hashtag is #sendcardsspreadlove.

Speaking of fun, be sure to check out Sara, Snail Mail Superstar and LetterMo supporter from Constellation & Co. for a month of deals, new releases during National Card & Letter Writing Month, as well as resources about reasons to write and overcoming hurdles to writing.

Remember to share and tag your mail-errific efforts this April on your posts on Instagram or in the daily mail call in the LetterMo Facebook group so we can cheer you on:
#write_on #lettermo #happymail #snailmail #nationalcardletterwritingmonth #sendcardsspreadlove

Let us know below if you know of any other organizations celebrating National Card & Letter Writing Month by hosting special events or offering special deals to letter writers.

Happy Writing LetterMo friends!

Irene @ilau


THANK YOU to all our LetterMo Friends around the world!

Hope you made some great new pen pals and are ready to keep MARCHING ON to honour the pledge to write everyone who wrote you – trust us, every friend you added will look forward to receiving your letter even if it is March and beyond.

Very special shout out to Admin Team who all volunteer their time! Three cheers for @mizlit,  @spatulate@reg-o-rama , @sorrow11 and especially @Cooksterz for all the behind the scenes wizardry.

While the month is over, please keep in touch with the community throughout the year and keep writing!

  • Irene, intern Admin 😉

LetterMo’s Virtual Write-In

Make your writing public!

LetterMo is hosting a virtual letter writing social. While we won’t have a space for an online meet-up, we encourage LetterMoians to coordinate with letter writers local to them, invite friends and family to join in a real location, coordinate an online hangout with your favorite pen-pal, or simply take your letter writing to a public place.

You can check in on the FB Event or here in the Members Only Virtual Write-in Forum: http://lettermo.com/forums/forum/virtual-write_in-feb24/

If the time doesn’t work for you, adjust as needed.

Share your Write-In location or snap pictures of your progress for the last Sunday of our February challenge.

You’ve Found Some Pen Pals, but Now What?

This is my second year doing the LetterMo challenge. I have to tell you, last year I was so excited! The idea of writing to a bunch of new individuals from new places was really compelling to me. I have friends and family all over the globe, but new people? A chance to say “hey” to someone I might never meet? I can tell you, it appealed to my introvert soul like all get out!

Then I ran into the hump,

the snag,

the wall,

after sending out about 10 letters to folks I had never met, my brain got tired. I had yet to receive a letter back — heck we were only ten days in, what did I expect? However, the creative fire was more like an ember and I was flat out tired of trying to be interesting and engaging.

So what to put in the post when you get to the struggle point? Here are a few of my suggestions


Food is a great connecter and even though some of us have strange diets or food allergies a recipe for a family favorite is always fun to get. If you want to spice it up, tell about where it came from, how old it is or what happened the first time you tried it. Anything anecdotal that makes it even more fun for the soul your sending it to!

Poetry! While not all of us love John Donne like I do, a sampling of some poetry you like gives the person you’re writing an opportunity to learn about an author they may or may not have heard of before. If you feel adventurous write about why you like that poem, what it means to you. Or consider a more creative outlet, and make your own black out poetry.

Comic strips! I don’t get the paper on Sunday anymore, but I love reading comics online. It’s easy to find a funny one to print out and tuck in the envelope. I confess my sense of humor is dry and warped, so sometimes the strips I choose really showcase my nutty side.

Seeds! My local garden center already has their seeds out for 2019, and even a package of butterfly mix is fun to sprinkle in a pot for the window. But be careful, sending seeds internationally can be tricky.

Tea! Tea bags, the sealed kind is best, and it doesn’t have to be something fancy. I have a dear friend who sends me oolong from Japan in every letter. One pen pal to whom I sent tea informed me she was NOT a tea drinker, but that she had saved it, so was able to offer it to a visitor who was delighted to try it. Don’t worry whether or not someone will like the tea. if they don’t, maybe they will just tuck it in their next outgoing piece of mail!

I should also point out that if you are packing an envelope with tea, seeds, or other fun extras, you will need to weigh your final packaged letter to see how heavy your missive is. If you live in the US, anything over an ounce requires additional postage. Your friendly neighborhood postal worker can help you make sure your letters won’t be returned for insufficient postage!

Postal Calculator, US
(who knew that mailing chicks could be so complicated?)

Research the SnailMail Blogosphere

Now if you are the creative type, which admittedly not all of us are, here are a few additional resources to spark your imagination for cards and envelopes to make

from The Postman’s Knock: Folded Heart Handmade Card Tutorial

from Homespun Seasonal Living: How to Make Upcycled Calendar Envelopes

from the blog at I Love to Create.com: Homemade Valentine’s Day Cards

Inspiring Things I’ve Received…

Candy Bar Wrapper!
I had an international pen pal from Russia send me a wrapper from a candy bar. The illustrations on it where amazing!

Coffee Sleeve as Stationery!

Imagine my surprise when I got a letter written on the paper that goes around a coffee cup with the coffee shops logo on it! How unique was that?

Coffee Cup Sleeve Scrap album from Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Mickeedos Creations

Don’t drink coffee but want to try sleeve stationery? Ben Franklin printable coffee cup sleeve from Deviant Art

Lyrics on Fabric!

One inventive lady wrote me out a verse from her favorite song on a scrap of fabric in a colorfast marker! Tips from bydawnnicole

No matter if your letter is long and rambling or just something short and sweet with a bit of whimsy tucked in, there is someone on the other end who will be delighted to hear from you!

Happy Month of Letters!

Banner Image Credit and Enclosure Inspiration Video from Mei-Ying Chow

Contributing Editor: Carrye De Mers

STAMP — Lettermo Bingo

We’re trying something new this year. At the onset, virtual “badges” were awarded to participants for various mailing accomplishments. They were awarded on the honor system with submissions through the website. Sadly, given the current state of the code and our resources to fix it, virtual badges are not available this year.

Instead, we’ve created an analog way to keep track of your frequent mailings (our downloadable mail tracker) as well as this challenge for your postal participation.

If you share your progress, please tag us with #LetterMoSTAMP

Follow this link for an explanation of how to use the 3 Cards
Follow this link to our Dropbox to download your Cards

We hope you enjoy the game. If you have any questions, please ask!. As the month continues, we’d love to see snaps of your progress. Call out “STAMP” (like BINGO) in the STAMP forum when you complete a column, row or even share a picture of you completing the task (FB group, on IG, or in the forum). Share photos of your task completion — either images of physical evidence or the progress on your card.

Explanation of STAMP Game — LetterMo’s version of BINGO

Each square has a task. This post will point you toward resources for completing them.

S1 Used a typewriter Typewriters are making quite the comeback. Many analog folks have already given them homes. Stores and enthusiasts around the country are refurbishing them. Type-ins are become more and more common. If you don’t have access to a typewriter, but would like to complete this task without buying one, check in with your local library. Several still keep one around. Or perhaps drop by the NYC Police Station? Not sure if they’ll let you borrow theirs.
You can choose to type on a label, a whole letter, or just the salutation. Whatever works for you, works for this square.

S2 Tagged #LetterMo on IG or Twitter Our official tag for the year is #LetterMo2019. Share with us your outgoing, incoming, or photo evidence of a finished challenge task.

S3 Used Vintage Postage Stamps Some of us have this in bottom drawers of our desks, but new vintage postage can be found easily on Etsy or eBay. If you’re not in the U.S., verify the rules about using vintage postage. Using old value postage in the UK is acceptable.

S4 Used LetterMo Stationery Our designers and other member volunteers have created several options for downloads. Check our Dropbox Link or FB Group Files, for the latest updates. Bonus points for creating and submitting your own design!

S5 Used a Wax Seal All kinds of sealing wax is available, from pre-made discs with a backing, to using glue guns, to mail safe wax as well as traditional. Historically, wax was used inside a letter to mark its authenticity, as well as to keep various folds secures (see Letter Locking). If you place your seal on the outside of your envelope, consider paying the non-machinable fee to help ensure the seal arrives intact, or place your finished letter inside a vellum or clear envelope. Remember the stamp still needs to be on the outside!

T1 Sent International Mail We have members in many different countries! Using our search tool, you can find a specific country to which you’d like to send mail or find an international pen pal who shares yours interests. If you participate in Postcrossing, that counts!

T2 Attended a Letter Writing Event Letter Writing Societies are having a zenith moment. Megan, the founder of Colorado Correspondence Coalition has created the LWS Directory to help people find letter writing groups in their area. Once she gathers information about the organizations, her next step will be to help the people who are interested in correspondence clubs to find each other if a group doesn’t already exist in the region. Consider posting in our forum or asking in the Members Group if you’re looking for a social letter writing opportunity. Folks have been known to hold virtual events as well. Whether that means coordinating with other LetterMo folks and sharing your progress via social media, or connecting over Hangouts, Skype, or Facetime while you chat and write. Perhaps the LetterMo Postmasters will organize a write-in date?

T3 Posted Intro in the LetterMo Forum The easiest way to ensure your account will survive our May spring cleaning — not to mention the best way to see which members might be your perfect pen pal match — is to post your Introduction in our Forum.

T4 Sent a Homemade Card Mail It Monday has an IG movement (#MailItMonday) for all our card making enthusiasts — don’t stop at being card makers, be card mailers! For those of you not regularly crafting your own cards, give it a try! Hallmark’s blog Think.Make.Share. offers several ideas for cards to make.

T5 Became a Member of the L.W.A. Whether we are members or not, most snailmail enthusiasts have been positively impacted by The Letter Writers Alliance’s 10 year devotion to correspondence. For a $5 lifetime membership, you can show your appreciation for their efforts, as well as access Member Only downloads, other goodies, and super secret mail initiative challenges — as well as take advantage of their pen pal matching service. Their blog is full of epistolary joy and worth a regular read.

A1 Sent a Homemade Envelope There are so many ways to make an envelope. Member goodjujubot offers a tutorial in her IG highlights. Naomi Bulger sends along gorgeous mail art printables for free via her newsletter or you can purchase her Mail Art Coloring book. A quick search or perusal of Pinterest will provide an array of templates, foldables, and tools. Some writers turn security envelopes inside out to create new, interesting envelopes. Ideas are endless!

A2 Used a Postbox Taking inspiration from L.W.A., Postmark’d Studio has declared 2019 as The Year of the Postbox in an effort to save U.S. blue boxes. For a postbox to stay in service, it must receive 25 pieces of mail daily. The #2019YearofthePostbox movement is to encourage us to adopt a local postbox and feed it as often as possible!

A3 MONTH OF LETTERS This square is earned by completing the Month of Letters Challenge — putting something in the mail every day the post is delivered and replying to all the mail you receive in February. Yay you!

A4 Sent a Recipe It might be as simple as your favorite personalized five ingredient hot chocolate mix or as complicated as your favorite recipe for an impressive main course. The recipe can be a tuck-in for a letter you are already sending, or if cooking is your jam, you might involve yourself in a recipe swap.

A5 Sent a S.A.S.E. In the early ‘80s, Free Stuff for Kids opened a whole generation’s eyes to the power of the S.A.S.E. (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) by compiling a book of kid friendly things that one could procure for the cost of two stamps. S.A.S.E. opportunities are less common these days perhaps, but it’s no surprise when snailmail oriented folks give them a purpose. The You Are Beautiful campaign offers stickers. The L.W.A. has their book Zine via S.A.S.E. Occasionally, the marvelous folks at Leaf Cutter Designs, who are responsible for #tinymail and the World’s Smallest Post Office also occasionally offer S.A.S.E. opportunities. Sign up for their newsletter and/or follow their Instagram.

MizLit will be offering a limited S.A.S.E request opportunity. Free tickets will be available from Eventbrite. Once you “buy” the ticket, your spot will be reserved, and then you will receive an email with instructions for where to send your S.A.S.E.

M1 Shared Picture Mail Snap your outgoing or incoming mail to share it with us … in the forum, the Members Group, IG, Twitter — pair with S2 to earn two squares!

M2 Sent a Homemade Postcard Several of our members make outstanding postcards, so hopefully they will chime in with some tips and tricks. There are many ways to complete this square. Upload a photo to a service like Touchnote or Postcardly, print your own on heavy cardstock at home, or cut a postcard shape out of heavier weight paper and decorate it are just some of the ways to create postcards. If you’re concerned that you masterpiece might not make it through the mail intact, you can pop it in an envelope (a homemade one?). A homemade postcard in an envelope still counts as making your own postcard.

M3 Tried Letter Locking As mentioned previously, Letter Locking was often paired with wax to ensure the letter reached its intended recipient unopened. In essence, Letter Locking is a more intricate version of what many of us know as the way we folded the notes tossed into friend’s lockers or surreptitiously slid onto desks. The one difference is that a locked letter, once opened, the tampering would be obvious. You can do your own research to attempt to recreate a locked letter, or send a modernized version of folded paper.

M4 Sent a Poem or Quotation Poems or quotations make perfect letter tuck-ins — or you can send them on their own. Send a favorite or find something appropriate for your recipient’s interests.

M5 Sent a Mail Tag Mail Tags are tuck-ins that specifically list questions for your pen pal to answer. They can be designed for your partners to answer and send back to you; or just ask questions to help them start their response to you that’s part of a longer letter, or even challenges for them to complete. The tags themselves can be functional, short lists or more creative depending on you or your recipient’s tastes.

P1 Sent Away for a Special Postmark The USPS frequently uses a nationwide pictorial postmark. Specific post office locations can also offer special postmarks. Lucky for us, Collect Postmarks keeps an updated availability list. Location cancellations can add interest to holiday mail, like this list of Anti-Valentine’s postmarks or sending your cards to be remailed out of Loveland. Make sure to read the How To section to know how to garner your own special postmarks.
A list of Canada Post pictorial cancellations can be found here.

P2 Participate in a Mail Mission Members have already posted several ways to put positivity into the world via mail. Check this list and watch our media platforms for additional opportunities.
US Military membersCanadian Forces,  folks who have been nominated to be showered with letters, prisoners, elders, foster youth, hospitalized kids, Peace Corps members, long distance truck drivers are all people who would be happy to receive mail from you.

P3 Sent an Unusual Object Until recently, the L.W.A. offered pigeons that could be sent through the post unboxed. Rubber chickens. Pinatas. Beach balls. Flip Flops. This piece of cake. All meet the requirements to be mailed without any additional packaging as long as postage is appropriate. You may need to choose your postal clerk carefully. If you’re a bit shy, you can employ a service who mail coconuts.

P4 Hosted a Letter Writing Event Virtual or in person. Invite another like-minded mail aficionado to hangout and write with you and you’ve hosted a letter event! If you have a larger group in mind, consider these tips or send a message to any of the several writing groups on IG asking for suggestions about how to start. Snailmail people are the best people!

P5 Used a Fountain or Dip Pen If you don’t already have a fountain pen, consider an inexpensive purchase from this listhttps://www.jetpens.com/blog/the-beginners-guide-to-fountain-pens/pt/927/a or these recommendations. Dip pens or dip pen kits can also add to your letting writing options for minimal cost.

BONUS Apply for a Blue Castle Badge Castle in the Air is a magical shop located in Berkeley, California. Besides a love for creativity and whimsy, the shop also values written correspondence and good deeds. According to the requirements listed on their website: The Blue Castle Badge is awarded to those who have accomplished one or more of the following achievements:

  • They have sent a real, paper letter to Castle in the Air illustrated with some of their own artwork.
  • They have sent a real, paper letter to Castle in the Air telling us of a good deed they have performed.
  • They have been mentioned favorably here on the Castle in the Air blog.
    If you’re not feeling deserving for whatever reason, you can also nominate someone else to complete this task.

In February, mail one item every day it runs. #lettermo Sign up to find Lettermo Penpals!