You’re probably familiar with the saying,“The pen is mightier than the sword,” coined by novelist and playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and for good reason. The idea that thinking and writing have more influence than violence and intimidation is an empowering one, especially due to the current political climate. With that in mind, this holiday season I encourage you to harness the power of the written word to spread kindness, hope, and good cheer to those who need it most. So, what are you waiting for?  Grab a pen and get writing as part of these six worthy writing projects.

  1. Operation Gratitude

Visit the Operation Gratitude website, download their Guide to Letter Writing, and find instructions on how to ship your items. You can choose to write a letter to a new recruit, veteran, deployed troop, or first responder who, “all deserve to be thanked for their commitment and bravery.”

  1. Letters of Love By Love for the Elderly

According to the Letters of Love website, “Over 90% of senior citizens living in nursing facilities report feeling lonely, isolated, or even depressed.” You have the ability to brighten a seniors day with something as simple as a letter. Visit the Letters of Love website and use their checklists to ensure your letter complies with their guidelines, then mail to the address provided.

  1. Make it Merry

Make it Merry is a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading the joy of Christmas to the homeless. Participants are encouraged to purchase a ready made card or to craft a homemade one, include a handwritten message, sign the card with at least their first name to create a personal connection, and mail to the address provided by December 10. The purpose of the project, according to their website, is to “acknowledge that the homeless are real people [and] are valued and cared about by others.”

  1. Cards for Hospitalized Kids

CFHK is an international organization that spreads joy and hope to hospitalized kids with handmade cards. The organization “encourages anyone to get involved with us, from anywhere.” They distribute cards for all major holidays, and general cards throughout the rest of the year. Specific guidelines can be found on their website.

  1. Letters Against Depression

A charity that believes hope and support begin with a letter, Letters Against Depression has current volunteer opportunities for Hope and Support Letter Writers and Initial Letter Writers to write upbeat, positive letters to people battling depression and other mental illnesses carrying a message that, “You are not alone.”

 

    1. 6.

P.S. You Are Loved


A dear friend has recently come out as trans. A difficult process made more painful by the hurtful reactions he’s received. He’s received 168 angry responses, a form of hate mail sent to someone who is just trying to find his own path. It’s easy to get pissed off and direct anger at those who wrote the email. Instead of adding to that energy Jerusha came up with the idea of 168 Letters of Love, Support and Encouragement, not just for our dear friend but also for others of the trans community who may be struggling. Please join us and add your voice.

Kirsten Clark is a high school English and Social Studies teacher, a reader, a runner, a writer, a lover of good food, and most importantly, a new mom. Kirsten lives in Vermilion, Alberta with her husband, and since welcoming a baby boy last December, she is embracing the new adventure of motherhood with all of its ups and downs. She occasionally blogs at shelooksforadventure.com, and posts regularly on Instagram @kirstenlanae. Find her on Twitter also.

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