Letter writers, break out your writing utensils.
A nonprofit organization in Atlanta is making waves with the letter bundles they deliver by the hundreds to individuals needing encouragement and a little love.
And Hannah Brencher, founder of More Love Letters, knows how that feels.
The 26-year-old Creative Communications Assistant from New Haven, Conn., found herself in need of encouragement after moving to New York City after college to pursue her journalist dream.
“I practically thought a red carpet would be rolled out for me,” she posted on her blog. “That didn’t happen though. In fact, I found myself grappling with depression, unable to tell my family and friends because I was ashamed.”
In the middle of her depression, she posted on her blog that anyone needing a “love letter,” namely one of encouragement, would receive a personal handwritten letter from her. Her inbox was soon flooded with more than 400 letter requests, each more heartbreaking and eye-opening than the last.
Then a year ago, Brencher moved to Atlanta and turned her new dream into a reality, writing love letters to strangers all across the world.
She isn’t the only one who writes letters though. Writers and nonwriters from across the world can check the updated letter requests she posts on her website, moreloveletters.com, every two weeks.
The requests include a name, description of the individual, and their mailing address.
One of the most prominent stories is about a mother whose daughter nominated her for a love letter bundle in May. In her submission, the daughter said her mother needed encouragement for several intensive rounds of a new chemotherapy treatment.
Brencher then shared on her Instagram the week of the delivery: “This is Loan. In May, @moreloveletters teamed up with Loan’s daughter to deliver over 300 letters from all across the world during Loan’s chemo treatment.”
Writers are given a deadline when letters should be mailed. After the letters have been received by a liaison, which is the friend who nominated the individual, the letters are shortly perused.
Negative content and monetary donations cannot be sent to the individual. The letters are delivered to the individual in a difficult time in their life, and many recipients express extreme thanks from all across the world.
In February, a girl named Victoria who is currently in the eighth grade received more than 500 letters from people all over the world.
“(She) was so touched and thankful,” writes facilitator Stephanie in a thank you note to More Love Letters. “She was so surprised when I presented the letters to her and could not wrap her mind around the fact that so many complete strangers could love her so deeply and sincerely care about what she has been going through.”
Victoria was diagnosed with a skin condition in February and needed some encouragement to help her get through medical appointments.
More Love Letters stepped in and notified writers and readers throughout the world of the need via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook accounts, presenting letter writers with an opportunity to make a difference. Alongside individuals, college campuses may participate in letter writing days that individual More Love Letter chapters on campus host throughout the school year and/or summer.
Campus Cursive chapters write letters to the featured individuals as well as unspecific notes left in lockers across campus, in coffee shops and in library books.
“Our Campus Cursive is officially up and running,” said Elaine, a Campus Cursive chapter representative at University of St. Thomas in Houston. “We’ve already had our first campuswide event. Some 174 students stopped by our table to write letters for other students, and we managed to pass out 374 love letters in a matter of three days. The campus is buzzing about us and I’m beyond excited to see what this semester has in store for us.”
Other campuses include Boston College, Auburn University, Brown University, University of Georgia, Texas A&M University, and University of Notre Dame.
For those who prefer outlines when it comes to writing, or have stationery, More Love Letters has created a “Fold-and-Mail Stationery” set, which is available for purchase at Barnes and Nobles or online through Amazon.com.
More Love Letters’ Instagram page features encouraging tidbits and stories of love letter bundle recipients, with little quotes throughout the week, such as “be bold or italic, never regular.”
Clubs wanting to participate in the movement can plan a letter-writing party or an afterschool community service initiative for their school.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/MoreLoveLetters.