When you think of TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks, you think of speakers discussing innovative political ideas or even radical developments made in the world of technology – but the humble postal service has also been known to make an appearance, thanks to the work of Hannah Brencher.
Hosting a TED talk entitled: “Love letters to strangers”, Brencher lent inspiration for this presentation following her mother’s practice of sending her letters during Brencher’s time at college. After moving to New York City in October 2010, she experienced depression – so to combat this, she decided to leave love letters throughout the city. In the course of nine months, she mailed out over 400 love letters to complete strangers across the world, and has now started a global project named: The World Needs More Love Letters.
What is ‘The World Needs More Love Letters’ about?
According to Brencher, it is: “a global love letter writing organization that harnesses the power behind social media to write and mail love letters to individuals across the globe”. After leaving random scraps of letters in places such as coffee shops as well as in coat pockets in department stores, she decided to document her experiences – blogging about the letters and publishing one extremely small but life-changing question: “Do you need someone to write you a love letter today? Just ask.”
Millions all over the world now partake in Brencher’s letter-writing project in three ways:
• Mail letters. To commemorate certain worldwide events, More Love Letters collaborates with worthy causes – where in this instance, More Love Letters has partnered up with This Bar Save Lives in honour of World Food Day. The premise is simple: for every letter written in the next 30 days, This Bar Saves Lives will donate a packet of life-saving food to a child in need. Alternatively, you can also write letters to charity workers posted overseas, mailing them words of encouragement.
• Leave letters. You can follow Brencher’s example and leave random love letters in your hometown, or perhaps on a park bench for someone to discover. Write the URL moreloveletters.com on the letter, then check the site in a few days to see if someone uploaded a photo of your letter for all the world to see!
• Start a campus charter. Want to spread the word amongst your academic associates? Then you can apply to bring Campus Cursive to your university – and if successful, your mission will see you spread love letters around your campus, your university town as well as the rest of the world.
Have you been the recipient of a random love letter? Or perhaps you’ve left a love letter or two for a stranger to read! Does the More Love Letters scheme sound like something you’d be interested in? Tell us who you’ve written your letters to or where you’ve left them – post your experiences in the comments below today!