Quick question everyone: if you were sitting on a New York City train, commuting home after a really awful day at work, and you saw someone sitting opposite you with the same expression on her face as you imagine would be on yours, what would you do?
If you would grasp that person’s hands and say “we’re in this together,” you’re one in a gazillion, my friends.
But that’s what Hannah Brencher wanted to do. She had to struggle with all her might, fighting the urge to reach out and invite the struggler to lean on her, even while she needed someone to lean on too. When she got off the train she decided to do the “socially acceptable” thing and write a letter to that person who had been sitting across from her.
Knowing she wouldn’t see the same person on the subway again, Hannah left her letter in a café. It started a movement that has grown to produce over 2,000 anonymous love letters since September 2010.
It’s called The World Needs More Love Letters. As Hannah describes it on her website: The World Needs More Love Letters is a community of “love letter writers” who write and leave letters across the map in hopes that the right people will pick them up. We leave them everywhere: books, coffee shops, coat pockets, trains. Love letter writers document the letter writing and dropping through photographs, blog posts, and social media.
Hannah’s initiative knows no bounds. Recently she started sending out Love Letter Bundle requests to people who have signed up as writers. I took Hannah up on the challenge and started replying to the specific requests – a single mom working three jobs, a girls’ volleyball team that had lost a teammate to suicide – by sending a single letter to be added to the month’s bundle. The requests are provided by friends or family members, so when the bundle arrives it is a complete surprise to the recipient, filled with encouragement and love.
What do YOU think about sending love letters to India? More specifically, to the women of Anchal, whose faces you have seen on this site and whose eyes would light up at your words of encouragement? If you are interested, please leave us a little comment below. Just one little love letter could change a woman’s life – and yours!