“A kind word is like a spring day.”
“This is my letter to the world
That never wrote to me.”
What a simple, yet powerful idea: In a world where we are overwhelmed and obsessed with computers, mobile devices, with apps and tweets, why not write letters by hand? And better yet, why not pen inspiring, life-affirming handwritten letters and then leave them in places where they can be found and read by complete strangers?
This brainstorm visited Hannah Brencher, a recent college student, when she was a mere 22. After relocating to New York City, Hannah was feeling lonely and lost. Touched by a woman who looked as lonely as she was, Hannah wrote a note and left it on a seat for someone else to find and enjoy. Inspired by the great feeling it gave her, Hannah began leaving letters all around town — in coffee shops, libraries, and supermarkets. Her idea caught fire with friends, and soon they were asking her to write letters to people they knew who needed a boost.
So Hannah created The World Needs More Love Letters (MoreLoveLetters.com), a Web site designed to encourage people to spread love and hope through handwritten letters. Hannah’s mission has gone global: today, she has a team of letter writers — and volunteers recruited online — who send love letters around the world.
One anonymous letter writer who started in 2010 wrote this on Hannah’s Web site: “It is a surreal feeling, to compose a letter to an individual that you have no ties to but at the same time you want the whole wide world for them. I wished them a bright day. A day full of laughter. I told them they were unique & special & really quite smashing. (I might not have used the word ‘smashing’ but I probably will in the next letter). Really, we are not told enough, in a genuine noncommercial manner, how brilliant we are. How intriguing and wonderful we are. How much we should be commended for waking up today and deciding to take on the task of being human. It is not an easy task. It is not always fun. But it is wildly worth it. Better that we write all these things down.” Well penned, anonymous and generous author!
Here’s what Hannah said in a recent Woman’s World story: “Sometimes I think it’s not the people who find the letter — it’s the letter that finds the person who needs it. Words are a powerful thing. We don’t all have the time or money to give a lot, but every one of us can share a kind word that will light the path of someone who needs it.”
What a wonderful way to make the world a warmer, cozier place. A letter can offer hope and a paper-borne hug, with words that comfort and console. This is inspiring me to leave some love letters myself. Bravo, Hannah! Write on!