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Kindness Project: Day 12

Although social media has made it simpler to contact the people who inspire us, there is still something really special about a handwritten letter or heartfelt email. Today's kindness is writing a letter/email to someone who inspires you.

This act of kindness was inspired by Kim Hoover's 2001 project that was featured in Newsweek. She is currently updating her own project for 2022 in order to include additional celebrities and other famous people, including YouTubers and other influencers. In 2001, Kim Hoover wrote a letter to selected celebrities along with a scrap of fabric for their autographs. Her intention was to create a quilt from the fabric scraps that were sent back from the celebrities but later realized that the scraps were not appropriate for quilt; however, she kept them all in a scrapbook.

While your family could certainly participate in such an extensive project, it's more likely that writing just a few letters or emails to the people who have been most inspiring will be more meaningful. Unfortunately, it can be quite a challenge to find the appropriate addresses, so there are some hints for this below.

General Tips

  • If you send a handwritten letter, including a self-addressed stamped envelop makes it more likely that you will receive a response.

  • Writing a meaningful letter or email where you describe how they have inspired you will make it more likely that you receive a response.

  • Don't be discouraged if they don't write back. For many of them, they receive too much mail / email to be able to write back to everyone.

  • If they are relatively famous, it's likely that they have assistants who read and select the letters that the person reads. So a meaningful letter or picture is more likely to be selected than one that is more generic.

  • If you write to politicians who are currently in office, sending a postcard makes it more likely that the politician will see it. It also passes through their mail security more easily.

For authors: Many authors will have websites where they list their mailing address under their contact page. For example, Karina Yan Glaser, the author of the Vanderbeekers series has a P.O. Box address intended for fan mail. Unfortunately, not all authors have made this option available. For these authors, it is likely better to send them a letter in care of their publisher (generally the publisher of their last hardcover book since it's more likely that the hardcover publisher is the one with the relationship to the author, not the paperback publisher). For example, if someone wanted to contact Kate DiCamillo, the writer of our Sparklers Book Club selection The Beatrice Prophecy, it's best to contact her publisher, Candlewick Press.

For YouTubers: On the YouTuber's page, there is an About tab where they will list important information for them. They often include their contact information on this page along with links to their website and other social media handles. If they do include an email address for business inquiries, you will have to complete a captcha to ensure that you are an actual human.

For Influencers: Most influencers will include their contact information in their bios along with a link to their websites. Influencers with fewer followers or in niche fields may be more likely to respond to their fan mail.


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