Wednesday, October 26, 2011

the world needs more love letters

I almost titled this post a "lovely little obesssion" because honestly I am obsessed! I tried so hard to remember how I stumbled upon this site and can't remember for the life of me (although I'm 99% sure it was through another blog). As your liaison of all things lovely I knew I had to share this beautiful mission and the lovely lady behind it. 

Meet Hannah, the creator + founder of "The World Needs More Love Letters". I picked her brain about this mission, where it came from, how to get involved, and it's significance to the world.

-What exactly is "More Love Letters"?

Hannah: More Love Letters is actually short for "The World Needs More Love Letters," It is an organization fueled by a community of individuals writing and leaving love letters all over the world while also reaching out to one another to script messages of love to those in need. 

Really, it is an offline practice fueled by social media. We use social media to drive people into writing these love letters, leaving them or mailing them to our PO Box, and documenting the experience along the way.  

-Where did you get this idea?

Hannah: The whole act of leaving love letters actually happened by accident. I moved to New York City in October of 2010 and, try as I might, I could not shake the loneliness. I began writing love letters to people who looked like they needed them and started leaving them all over Manhattan. It became a hobby of mine and I used the internet to document the letter writing. 

After scripting just over 400 love letters, I turned the project outward to the world and challenged others to do the same. The results have been beautiful and breathtaking and it is amazing to think that it is all only 2 months old. There is so much ahead.  

-Who do the love letters go to?

Hannah: gives individuals the opportunity to request a love letter for someone in their life who might need it. It is an awesome way to think outside of yourself and really ask the question, "Who in my life needs a love letter, a "just because" letter, a "thank you for being alive" kind of letter. The letter requests are then passed out to love letter writers who snail mail a letter to the unsuspecting recipient. 

I've seen love letters go all over the world--from Texas to Japan and Brazil to California-- and to all kinds of people. Letters have been requested based on loss, grief, eating disorders, near suicides, divorces... the list keeps growing longer but treat each request the same: A lot of love, no matter who you are or what you are going through. 

-Have you ever heard from the recipients of the love letters?

Hannah: We have a section on the site devoted to Letters Lost and Found. We've had a few people send us emails, thanking us for the letters. I am sure there will be more people contacting us as the letters continue to grow. 

-How does one get involved?

Hannah: People can get involved in a number of ways. They can start leaving their own love letters  and taking pictures so we can post them on the site. They can sign up for the email subscriber list and each month they will have a chance to write a love letter for an individual in need and send it to our PO Box. We then bundle up the letters and send them over. Or they can simply request a letter for someone in their life who could benefit from one. 

-What makes up a good love letter?

Hannah: Ah, the golden question. I always say that there is never a bad love letter... as long as you write it from the heart, it will come out beautifully. We are really redefining what it means to write a love letter... People hear love letter and they think mushy gushy romance. In this case, a love letter is daring to step outside of your comfort zone to write something for someone you will probably never meet. I always tell people to write the letter they would want to find somewhere today. What are the things your own heart needs to hear? Write those down. It will come out perfectly, I have no doubt.  

-How many letters have you written?

Hannah: To date, we have written 576 love letters! 

-Whats the best thing to have happened due to this mission?

Hannah: I think the greatest blessing in all of this is people realizing that they can get started right away. They don't need a kit, they don't need to be perfect, they just need to have a desire to put something good in the world. I think that in itself makes people feel capable, needed, important. The mission of More Love Letters has actually nested a mission into the hearts of others through these letters and it has been awesome to watch.  

-Have any great stories involving the letters that have to deal with this mission?

Hannah: I have dozens and dozens of stories from just the past few weeks! One of my favorites, the one that really clicked the whole thing into place, was an email I got the other day from a woman who lost her mother in January. She has been dealing with grief and a lot of sadness and she just recently came across Now she is an avid love letter writer, sprinkling letters all over the place, but even better, she feels like her mother is with her in this project. She is sowing her sorrow and her tears into these love letters and while she helps others heal, she is learning to heal herself. 

I (Lyndsey) have officially signed up for the email subscriber list. I am excited to get my first request next month, but who knows maybe I will write one before then. I really love what Hannah is doing and all the love and positivity she is putting out into the universe.

Thank you Hannah for creating such a loving and beautiful mission, and allowing us to be part of it. If any

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