SUBMITTED BY THE CAMROSE PUBLIC LIBRARY (SHANNON STOLEE)
“It’s funny; in this era of e-mail and voice mail and all those things that even I did not grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy.”
– Elizabeth Kostova
‘Tis the season for warm wishes and glad tidings, and the Camrose Public Library is set to help with holiday cheer and good words. While much of the world is celebrating a happy season, it can be a tough time for many people who may be living with familial and social isolation. Sending a quick note to someone who could use a kind word can make a huge difference in someone’s day, if even for a moment.
Unlike a phone conversation, which can go sideways, a letter gives you a chance to practice what you want to say and make sure it conveys your intended meaning (no fear of missing the email UNDO window of time either!)
Writing down your thoughts onto paper gives opportunity to alleviate stress, loneliness and anxiety, especially when you are far away from friends and family, and of course, letters and cards are beautiful, cherished gifts. Once Grandma gets your letter, you will become the favourite grandchild immediately!
National Letter Writing Week falls on the second week of January every year, and we are celebrating early so our letters can reach their destinations in time for the observance. Every afternoon from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Dec. 3 through Dec. 7, we will have everything you need to write a letter; a writing station will be set up on the main floor of the library with pens, paper, envelopes and postcards. Stamps will be available for purchase at the circulation desk, and we will have a ”mailbox” set out that you can drop your letter in once it’s stamped. We will deliver all the letters to the post office daily.
On Dec. 7 we will have a Letter Café set up downstairs at 1:00 p.m. with snacks and a card making class starting at 4:00 p.m.
No desire to share a love letter with someone you know? We have other letter writing options available for you, too.
Amnesty International Canada’s Write For Rights Letter Writing Campaign
Each year around International Human Rights Day (Dec.10), Amnesty International encourages people to write a letter on behalf of someone who has been imprisoned for expressing their opinion. Ten of these prisoners of conscience are highlighted each year. Amnesty International has done all the hard work and lets you know exactly what to do. The library has the profiles of all ten prisoners, letter writing tips and the addresses for the government offices and prisons. Plus the paper and envelopes! #WriteforRights #WHRD #W4R2018 For more information click here.
Write to the Troops
Our Canadian Armed Forces appreciate letters from Canada while they are stationed overseas. Go to the website and scroll down to find Canadians Sending Letters for “Any Canadian Armed Forces Member”. There you will find Addresses for Overseas Operations. All overseas operations have Canadian addresses, so no extra international postage is required.
More Love Letters
Described as a “serious gang of inspired heart-on-sleevers writing, leaving and mailing love letters to those in need,” over 250,000 love letters have been delivered to people in need of comfort. Go to the More Love Letters website for more information. Most people profiled here are in the U.S. or overseas, so letter will need extra postage.
We will leave you with one final note. If you need an excuse to procrastinate on your next assignment, we can’t think of anything better than writing a letter. As Ernest Hemingway said:
“Or don’t you like to write letters? I do because it’s such a swell way to keep from working and yet feel you’ve done something.”
Shannon Stolee is the adult programmer at Camrose Public Library. Her New Year’s Resolution for 2019 is to write more letters.