Dear Friend,

Thanks to longtime LetterMo member @oliviarrow for
sharing her own personal experience with uplifting words from “secret friends” that started her on a lifelong journey paying it forward and sending kind words to stranger.

In this part of the LetterMo challenge, maybe you’re running out of people to write who you already know or have written before. You might want to send notes to folks you don’t know, but you feel a little funny writing to strangers. What do you say? How do you know what they like? What if you say the wrong thing? 

I’m here to tell you to get over the fear and DO IT

Like many LetterMo participants, I was introduced to letter writing as a young person and have been the grateful recipient of innumerable mailings ever since. As a teenager, there was a period when I was struggling a lot and had body issues and depression. That’s when I first got a card signed “Your Secret Friends” with a message of encouragement, love and support.

I received a few of them and they were written in different penmanship with no return address except for “Y.S.F.” To this day, I do not know who sent me those love letters, but I have kept them for over 25 years because they made me feel like I had value and was loved at a time when I didn’t think that was possible. 

Those cards remind me how easy and accessible it is to uplift others with a stamp and a few kind words.

Since I received those wonderful surprises from my secret friends, I have sent many letters and cards to countless strangers around the world, simply to spread love and encouragement. I am happy to help you get started on your own journey to spread kindness!    

A great place to start is lettermo’s very own #MailMission post in the Resources section, where you will find links to send mail to troops, children in hospitals, and senior citizens, to name a few. From that list, I have done More Love Letters, where letter requests are posted on the first of every month with short paragraphs about why the recipient could use your support.

Another site I have used in the past is Girls Love Mail, for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. The site offers pointers on what to say or avoid if you need a little help composing your letter. This year they have a campaign to collect 25,000 letters called 2021 MILES OF MAIL.

Then there’s The Letter Project, which I only just learned about. The Letter Project is a faith-based organization for women and girls to write and receive encouraging mail. 

As if those weren’t enough resources to choose from, there are still more ways for you to spread kindness through the mail and letters.

  • You might take a more grassroots approach and try contacting a local care home about reaching out to seniors and people who are isolated in your area.
  • You can send a love letter to your favorite local restaurant
  • Maybe fan mail to performers or businesses you love who have been struggling due to the pandemic.

This has been a particularly tough time for so many people, so don’t underestimate how valuable your encouragement can be, even anonymously. Maybe you can send some cards to Spread Joy 24-7 to leave around in public spaces for strangers to find.

You get the idea, there are more resources than I can list here, but you have plenty to get started with whatever route speaks to you. Do you have a favourite #MailMission that you are dedicated to? Please share in the comments below.

3 thoughts on “Dear Friend,”

  1. Thank you, @oliviarrow for sharing this touching story. Not only does it show how much the kindness of strangers can make a difference but also illustrates how the physical aspect of letters as keepsakes means so much. After this month is over, I will try to pay it forward and look out for these opportunities and send kindness out into the world.

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