After the 2016 Presidential election, I immediately saw the increased levels of pain, division and anxiety. I wanted to find a way to give a little hope and positivity to those who felt overwhelmed, so I started the “Share the Love” snail mail campaign. Each day I created an original watercolor illustration with a hand lettered quote about hope, love, etc. I put the word out that if anyone wanted to get on my list, they just had to send me their mailing address.
Each person who responded was sent one of these original watercolors. As the country became more divided, the number of folks who requested to be on the “Share the Love” mailing list grew. Original art was no longer possible, so the campaign morphed into 4 mailings per year which included a print of an original illustration and some kind of small gift that helped try to make the recipients’ day a bit brighter. Anyone can send an email blast, but I wanted folks to know they were special. There is something special about receiving a tangible letter in the mail. While I hand letter each envelope, I think about the person to whom that mailing is headed and consciously take a moment to wish them well.
My mailing list is now around 120 and each mailing costs (including stamps) about $250. Financially, I cannot add as many new people as I would like – so I created the “Pay it Forward” program. People can go to my website and, for $35, can order a year’s worth of mailings for a friend or family member.
This upcoming election marks the 4 year anniversary of the “Share the Love” campaign. I have never sought out publicity however, I think it is really important to let people know that there are LOTS of folks out there every day, trying to do good for others and counter all the hate and division…those stories just don’t make for juicy news ratings.