Every day for the month of July, I am leaving love letters to strangers wherever I go. In doing this, I hope to let people I will never meet know that they matter – that they exist, that they are visible, and that their life matters to us. I challenge you to do the same. I challenge you to write at least 2 letters this month. If we all do, then we can reach hundreds of thousands of people. If not millions! Are you with me? Good. Here’s a quick guide to get you going:
1. Gather your materials
At the very least, you will need paper and envelopes. I prefer these beautiful off-white half sheets by Crane – the thickness really makes the letters feel special. But you could honestly use any paper you can get your hands on.
2. Write the letters
Each letter should be unique. I date each letter and always start by writing, “Dear you.”
I also include some positive affirmations like, “Has someone told you lately how amazing you are?”
But I’m also honest with them. For example, I’ve used the following phrase in a couple letters thus far: “There will be long and difficult days ahead. Days when it’s hard to find your way through the storm. So be kind and patient.”
I believe that in combing the positive and the honest people will be more apt to listen to what you’re saying.
Lately, I have been printing the letters from the computer. I didn’t want to do this for a long time. I wanted each letter to feel completely unique. But the truth is that I could only write so many letters without my hand cramping up and my handwriting becoming totally illegible. Printing allows you to distribute more letters, which I see as a benefit. The more letters, the most people who can be touched. But the choice is up to you.
To make each letter unique, I sign my name with a nice pen. I also add the hashtag #loveletterstostrangers at the bottom. This way the recipients can be a part of the incredible Instagram community that’s forming around this project.
3. Address the envelopes
After folding the letters and stuffing them into the envelopes, it’s time to have some fun. If you saw a letter at the bus stop, what would grab your attention? I like to call out to them by saying something like, “This is for you.” Make the person feel comfortable opening the letter. Be playful.
Next, you can draw on the envelope. This makes the letter more inviting and more friendly.
4. Leave the letter someplace where people will find it
Now it’s time for the adventure. Carry the letters with you wherever you go. This might just be on your way to work or to school. Or you might want to plan out a specific adventure of letter dropping.
I’ve left letters at the grocery store, on park benches, on the train. Basically wherever I think people might find and open them.
5. Post on Instagram using #loveletterstostrangers
Take a photo of your letter wherever you leave it. Then post it on Instagram with the hashtag #loveletterstostrangers. Together, we are many. Together, we can change the world. This hashtag will be proof that when we unite in the name of love, we can touch the lives of many.
6. Don’t stick around
It’s important not to stick around and wait for someone to pick up the letter. We are not doing this for own pleasure. Love is ultimately most powerful when we put it out in the world, not expecting anything in return.
That’s it. Pretty simple, huh? Remember, all I’m asking is for you to write at least 2 letters this month. If we all do that, then we can show the world how to make a change for the better.
Thank you for what you’re doing. I’m so excited to see what we can build!