05/20 Making and Delivering Handcrafted Messages

Rebecca’s cousin Melissa decided to foster the art of letter writing with her kids, Cooper and Samantha, to give them a handcrafted way to connect with friends and family. She is having them choose someone each week that they want to reach out to and Rebecca was lucky to be Samantha’s first recipient, getting not only a letter but a lovely drawing. Samantha also very charmingly requested a response which motivated Rebecca to not only reply to her but to write a few other friends and family as well.

It goes without saying that letter writing has a tangible appeal that can’t be replaced by online exchanges. You get an actual piece of mail and you somehow know instantly that it isn’t a solicitation or a bill.  Someone actually took the time to write to you!  Who doesn’t love that?!  Think about the last time you got a personal letter or a postcard. It’s such a= heartwarming surprise when it is expected like a birthday card,it still provides a special kind of gratification.

It’s probably self-evident that, at a time when many people have to limit contact with others and, as a result, may be feeling lonely and isolated, we can use letter-writing as a way to reach out. This could be to people that we know such as relatives or friends, but also strangers who are in forced isolation such as residents of geriatric housing facilities.

This is especially important because research shows that we not only tend to underestimate how much people appreciate being recipients of expressions of kindness and gratitude but also how much it benefits us to generate them.

Sending letters has another noble purpose–it can help save the Postal Service!!  Apparently the USPS is not funded by tax dollars but instead by postage and package delivery and, not surprisingly, because of COVID 19, like many other businesses, the USPS has taken a serious hit.

So, just like we might support local restaurants by ordering take-out, we can help revitalize the Post Office by sending letters and cards.  If we’re feeling particularly ambitious and generous, we might even put together and send a care-package because just like an email doesn’t have quite the same impact as a letter, an Amazon delivery doesn’t quite compare to a personally prepared box of gifts!

So think about someone who would appreciate getting a letter, postcard, or care-package and shoot one off to him/her.  You might even be bold, like Samantha, and ask for one in return!

As in recent months, we end with offering this handout on Creative Coping with COVID 19. We’re updating it regularly so even if you downloaded it before the latest version may have some new tips.

Keep staying safe! Blessings and love to you all, Rebecca and Gioia

Art directive
If you want to add a crafty take on letter writing, think of someone you think would benefit from getting some mail and make them a postcard. Find some heavier card stock and cut 4 x 6 postcards. Draw a quick doodle on the front–a sun, a happy face, a heart–and pick 3-4 people each week to send them to. If you have kids, pick a time each week for a “postcards sit-down”. This will create a ritual that they will come to expect and, hopefully, enjoy! As always, if you’re willing to share, we’d love to see your responses and theirs posted on our Facebook page.