Monday, December 27, 2010

good deeds ~ letter writing!

happy post-christmas monday to everyone! 
i hope you all survived the weekend and have some pretty amazing memories to carry with you into the new year.  i had a splendid weekend, filled with loved ones, a wedding, and some great gifts {more on that later}.  one gift in particular was the super cute fold + mail stationary from boygirlparty.  i was so excited to have such fun letter-writing supplies and i began to wonder who in the world i should write to.  so i did a little internet research and found several amazing sites for all of us who love sending a genuine, hand-written note to make someone else's day brighter.  


today's good deed idea is all about writing letters to sick children and their families.  there are several organizations that do this:  make a child smile, love letters, hugs and hope, and {in the UK} post pals.  all of these organizations highlight children who are sick or terminally ill, with addresses where you can send encouraging, friendly, and even funny letters to the child and/or their families.  some of the sites also highlight the siblings, who are often overlooked during their brother or sister's illness.  letter writers are highly encouraged to send these same sorts of letters to the siblings and the parents as well, since a child's illness effects the entire family.

a few guidelines:
DO NOT say "get well" or "get better" since many of them will not actually recover from their illnesses.
DO say "thinking of you" or "wishing you a lovely day" instead.
DO NOT send candy, glitter, or fabric goods {such as stuffed animals} which may contain allergens. 
DO send happy cards with pictures, funny jokes, or kind words {anything to make a child smile}.
Avoid sending religious-specific letters, since the families involved come from all sorts of different religious backgrounds.
Feel free to send as many letters as you would like to the sick child, their brothers and sisters, or their parents.
Remember the families who have already lost their children.  these organizations also list the addresses of families who's children have passed away, but could still use a friendly letter.
Visit the organization's FAQ's for more guidelines.

this is a great idea to do with the kids in your own life, either as a parent or a teacher.  it's also a very easy way to make the world a better place.  sending encouraging letters only costs as much as a stamp, is easy to do during our busy holiday schedules, and truly impacts another life for the better.    

i'm pretty excited about this good deed. there's probably nothing more beautiful than receiving love and encouragement from a stranger during a time of need!