• Flea Market Love Letters

Thank You! Thoughts on the 28 for 28 Fundraiser.

You wonderful letter legends raised over ONE THOUSAND AND TWENTY euro for the charity From Me To You (FMTY). I am in shock and several times I had to pinch myself, including whilst in the que at the local post office on November 11th to post my 28 letters for the FMTY 'Donate a Letter' Campaign that I wrote while you angels donated, and donated, and donated. I'll never be able to thank you enough but I'm going to keep trying so you'll hear me banging on about the kindness, the empathy, the generosity, and more that this experience taught me for literal ages to come.


Before I go on to document this experience I would like to thank not just those who donated, but those who shared, messaged, and help spread the word about the fundraiser. I'd like to thank the incredible team at From Me To You for the work they do to spread positivity and empathy. I'd like to thank the ladies at Letters Connect for their support and kindness in keeping spirits hopeful, and for the Letters Connect members who supported, shared, and messaged.

Beginning:

It was January 2021 when I started sending a few Birthday cards out in the post, to folks at home during lockdown who had shared on social media that they were so. Then with a few shares and words of encouragement from the letter writing community on Twitter, it became a few more and a few more until mid-summer I was writing my 100th Birthday card that the messages started appearing: "When is your Birthday?", "Can I return the favor?", "I'd love to send YOU a Birthday card!". I couldn't exactly avoid the fact I was going to have a Birthday so I needed a plan, somewhere to put all the kindness people wanted to send back instead into the broader universe somehow.


In comes the From Me To You (FMTY) 'Donate a Letter' Campaign. You can write letters, post them to FMTY, and they'll then post them on to someone experiencing Cancer. I got in touch and followed their sage fundraising advice. I knew I wanted to write letters for the Donate a Letter campaign and have a donation page going at the same time, so when co-founder Alison suggested I write the number of letters of the age I would be, thus '28 for 28' was born.


I took to Twitter a few weeks prior to announcing the fundraiser and sought out some letter prompts, knowing that if I had a place to hang my hat every day of the 28 that would make the writing come a little easier. The 28 prompts were constructed, the fundraising page went up, and I went off to the store to buy a pack of rainbow envelopes and stationery. On October 14th, we were off.


When the first donations started to roll in I could hardly contain the excitement. Every penny raised was going to help From Me To You make people feel as special as I do when a letter comes in the door and that was motivating me full stop.


Middle:


I was in Dublin airport when I said to my Mom, who I was traveling with that I thought I might add a little twist to the fundraiser. I would, I suggested, send a postcard to Paris to anyone who donated in the 48 hours we'd be there.


The beautiful souls who were following along with the fundraiser -- including the legends at From Me To You and Letters Connect -- made sure that this offer got publicity near and far. So much so that I was only delighted to write a stack of notes from beside the Seine.

In just two weeks of the fundraiser being live -- that's 14 letters written on my end -- letter legends around the world had raised 630 (!!!) euro. I'd never publicized a goal, hoping that we'd get to 500 euro for FMTY and when we broke 630 euro I dared to think: Could we make it to 1,000 euro?


End:


It costs From Me To You £2.10 to post just one letter. And while I was writing 28, I know from their brilliant social media that they have some writers sending in dozens of letters a month. My self imposed rules were: the letters had to be one page (front only), I had to write one a day, and I had the prompts to help. I also knew that my 28 would be landing in the P.O. box with hopefully dozens of donated letters to help brighten the days of folks experiencing Cancer. And to do that, we needed funds.


So when we broke 650 euro donated that was about 260 letters they could send. Then, we climbed to 730 euro which is almost 290. And as the donations came in I became more and more emotional. You lot were doing this.

When I went to bed on November 9th, we were so close to 1,000 euro -- which by the way is almost 400 letters posted -- that I could hardly contain myself. And sure enough on November 10th, you lot did it. We ended the fundraiser on my 28th Birthday with 1,020 euro raised for the wonderful work the team over at From Me To You do, every day.


I can only say it again and again: This was all you guys. This was me in my office writing a letter a day, sure, but it was you guys sharing your hard earned money with the hopes that it could bring happiness in the form of a letter to someone who could really use it. Thank you for believing in the power of the letter to change lives. Thank you for changing mine.


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