We came across this Post-It note in the subway with the hashtag #moreloveletters. It reminded us of The Strangers Project, which collects handwritten journal entries from strangers across the country. A quick search led us to More Love Letters, an organization started by Hannah Brencher, a New York transplant motivated by her own loneliness in this city.
As she says in her TED Talk, “I was living in New York City and it felt like the most impossible battle of my day was trying not to cry during random subway rides for no apparent reason. I felt lonely. I felt disconnected…So on those subway rides–the lonely ones where no one talked or said even more than a word to one another–I started writing those same kinds of love letters my mother had written to me and tucking them throughout New York City for strangers to find.”
Using social media and blogging, Brencher spent the next year mailing 400 letters to strangers who heard about her project, “and wanted a reason to wait by the mailbox.” This has transformed into an organization active on six continents. The More Love Letters website lists letter requests and addresses to send the letters to, encouraging those suffering from medical conditions, or social ones, like bullying. Letters of encouragement will come from all around the world, sending messages like it’s okay to be different, or to remind them that they’re loved.
And people are still leaving love letters in random places. Four years after the founding of More Love Letters, looks like the message still resonates where it was founded–in the subway of New York.