Don’t Have a Valentine? Write These Love Letters Instead 💌
It’s easy to understand how one can get swept up in the romantic notion of writing love letters. Later this week, Netflix will release the third installment of To All the Boys I Loved Before, meaning that Lara Jean wrote five letters when she was just an awkward tween and got an entire trilogy of magical teen rom-com love out of it. Unfortunately, the real world is not always like this, so this week I encourage you to keep your angsty crush mail to yourself and channel that letter writing energy towards social good. Here are some different kinds of letters you can write:
One: Write a Letter for The Letter Project
This month, Outspoken is partnering with The Letter Project. This nonprofit organizes letter exchanges between women all over the world, promoting self-esteem and building networks of support. You can read more about our partnership here, and save the date for our Write Night on February 24th at 7pm CST. Join our virtual community to play games, take on a letter writing challenge, and win Outspoken prizes.
Two: Write a Letter for Letters To Strangers
Letters to Strangers (L2S) is a youth-led nonprofit that seeks to destigmatize mental health. At L2S, writing letters humanizes the often isolating challenges of mental health. By establishing a personal connection with a stranger, you can participate in an exercise of empathy and compassion. Learn more about finding a chapter site near you, or utilize the L2S online platform to submit and exchange letters. Check out these sample letters for inspiration and get writing!
Three: Write a Letter To A Senior Citizen
The pandemic has magnified America’s epidemic of loneliness within elderly communities. To address this, consider participating in Letter to An Elder Day on February 26th! Write a letter to your grandparent, your grandparents’ friends, or any other elderly people you know that are suffering in isolation. Find out if retirement homes and assisted living facilities in your community are accepting letters or have established programs. If you are looking for an existing program, consider sending your letters to Love For Our Elders, a nonprofit that has been distributing letters to senior communities since 2013.
Four: Write a Letter To A Healthcare Worker
Though the vaccine promises a much anticipated end to the pandemic, we will continue to depend on our healthcare workers during the long months ahead. Many hospitals have channels or resources to express gratitude for these frontline heroes, so it should be fairly easy to find a way to distribute your message of thanks in your community. Write a letter, wear your mask, and get vaccinated when it’s your turn.
Five: Participate in A Letter Writing Campaign
Letter writing campaigns can be an essential part of grassroots activism. Organizations like Vote Forward send letters to mobilize voters and increase voter turnout. Amnesty International has a page dedicated to Write For Rights, which is a program where you can write letters to support individuals who are wrongfully imprisoned. Many causes utilize letter writing campaigns, so do some research on one that is important to you and your community to get involved.
Six: Write a Letter to Your Legislator
Writing your political representatives is like writing a love letter to your community. Make your voice heard and inform them about what causes are important to their constituents! Here is a quick guide from the ACLU on writing an effective letter, and here is an easy way to find your representatives’ contact information.
This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list of letter writing opportunities, but rather a few ideas to inspire you. Taking time out of your day to write a letter can also be a great way to slow down, reflect, and acknowledge what you’re grateful for; self love is important, too. Here’s your call to action: write a letter!
–Sophia Marusic, Content Creator