My Grandmother and I still send letters back and forth to each other. I can picture the stationary she uses and her penmanship when I close my eyes. When I receive a card from my Mom in the mail, she doesn’t need to write a return address at the top. I can tell from the way she writes the “K” in my name that there is sure to be a funny message or an uplifting note from her inside. The love I feel from my Mom and Grandma when I receive handwritten notes from them is absolutely priceless. Standing at the mailbox, I clutch the letter and do a little jump. Each time I have a letter in my hands, I stop and stare at it for a bit. I don’t open it, I just look at the letter. It is something to be appreciated. Cherished. To preserve their thoughts, I open each letter down the side to save their lovely handwriting. In my life, I’ve saved boxes of letters from them and I will preserve them always. I was lucky. Still today, I am lucky to receive handwritten notes and letters from my Grandmother, my Mother and even a dear friend I met while I was in Italy.
As a child, there wasn’t any email. I had pen pals. In school, my hand shot into the air whenever the teacher asked if any of us would like to correspond with a student from a foreign country. Oh, the excitement! As a young girl, I had pen pals in Japan, Russia, Germany and Hawaii. Still today, I have those letters with the intricate, foreign stamps and postmarks. I could repeat the handwritten letters by heart.
Hannah Brencher writes letters.
Hannah writes love letters. She writes them to strangers. Out of the goodness of her heart. She has created an organization out of changing people’s lives in a positive way. I’ve written previously about Hannah. I wrote about her selflessness and her Random Acts of Kindness. I’ve written about the Ted Talk she gave. I wrote about her “Brew Sessions” and I wrote about her honesty, thoughtfulness and how much Hannah cares whether she knows you personally or not. I even wrote about how Justin and Mary Marantz, two of my most favorite photographers featured Hannah in their 2013 WPPI Platform.
Her organization, The World Needs More Love Letters changes a stranger’s life with a simple pen and paper. Be it a request by mail or a random love letter written by Hannah for a stranger to find, Hannah’s mission is to positively change people’s lives through her words and her stories. However, now you can be a part of her mission. Even if you don’t find yourself in need of receiving a love letter, you may write one for someone else. For the future. The unknown.
“In a world that is full of texting, tweeting, gramming, and emailing, do you ever pause to think about the legacy you’ll leave behind? We’re growing into a paperless age where some of our best memories have happened on a screen. It’s time to break the mold and leave a bold legacy on the page. How do you want to be remembered? What do you really want to make sure you say? Now is your chance to get it all down into words. We’re creating the first ever time capsule of love letters from the worldwide More Love Letters Community. We are looking for you to write a love letter— 1, 2, or 10— that you’d want to leave behind to speak for the fact that you were here. Gather friends, family, or anyone who loves a good pen and paper party, and script your love letter to the future. We’ll be collecting all the love letters with the hopes of creating the most mammoth love letter time capsule this world has ever seen. Love letters will be displayed on the blog + social media streams throughout the months of October + November (you might even get to see your love letter in a book one day!). It’s time to prove to the future that we lived, loved, laughed, danced, sung, cry, worked hard, collaborated, hoped, and dreamed. But more than that, it’s time to prove that we were definitely, definitely here.”
To learn more, click here.
You can mail your love letters to:
I Was Here PO Box 2061 North Haven, CT 06473
Please postmark by October 31, 2013.
I’m writing my letter today. I hope you’ll also consider writing a love letter, stamping it, and mailing it away to Hannah. For yourself, the future, or for the yet to be discovered.