A Letter is Better

Southworth Supports “A Letter is Better!” Campaign

When I think of Valentine’s Day, one of the first things that come to mind for me is the cards – the racks upon racks of greeting cards that start pouring into the aisles of retail stores immediately following New Year’s. The same racks that, fast forward 5 weeks later, are barren and wiped out like the milk freezer at a grocery store on the day a snowstorm is forecasted. Why all the cards… why the need? We live in a digital world. We communicate digitally every day don’t we? Can’t we just email or, better yet, text our loved ones on Valentine’s Day to tell them how important they are to us? Well I guess we can, but does it really mean the same? Isn’t it the effort that makes it meaningful, the idea that someone took time and put thought into it that really makes it special to us?

Last year we became aware of a heartwarming campaign that began 6 years ago in Virginia. In 2005,  Kevin Blackford, Postmaster of Stuart’s Draft, VA, made it a personal project to educate local students as to the significance of the handwritten letter. Seeing the increased use and availability of electronic communication devices, Kevin felt the need to encourage the importance of the time-honored tradition of penning thought to paper. For almost 7 years now he has been supplying the local students with stamped envelopes that they can use to send personal correspondence to friends, family or anyone they choose. Kevin reports that the response from the students and the recipients has been “amazing and heartwarming”.

I reached out to Kevin to applaud him for his efforts and to tell him that Southworth wanted to contribute to his campaign. As a paper company that has embraced this same philosophy for over 170 years, it was a call to action, an obligation if you will that we be involved. Within a week of our first conversation we shipped him a supply of Southworth paper, note cards and envelopes.

It’s a great feeling to know that the students in Stuart’s Draft, VA are now armed with high quality paper, note cards, and stamped envelopes that only require their personal thoughts and messages to make complete. What feels even better is knowing that, much like on Valentine’s day, the recipients of those letters and cards from the children in Stuart’s Draft will be touched that someone took the time to write it down, and make it personal. I was recently advised that the school will be celebrating “Random Acts of Kindness” next month, and will be tying the “Letter is Better” campaign in to that good work.

I salute Kevin Blackford, and those like him, who have the passion to act locally and think globally for a good cause. Since his campaign launched, Kevin has been asked to speak on the subject, and has been contacted by fellow Postmasters, and others, inquiring about this good work- so the ripple affect has begun. We need more people like him…more people that take time to make a difference. I think I’ll drop him a line to encourage him or, even better, maybe I’ll send him a letter.

We’d love to hear about any other similar programs that we may share with our readers.

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  1. smartin
    Posted January 20, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Such a great idea! Imagine how enchanting all those hand scrawled letters must be for their intended audience. I’ll bet they get put in the “Keep” file.

  2. Carol G.
    Posted January 20, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    It is so true. Going to the mail box at the end of the day and finding a card/letter can certainly lift your spirits.

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