By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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These aren't the usual love letters.
They are anonymous messages of affirmation, handwritten and left for strangers to find on store shelves, in bus shelters or peeking from under doormats.
This is the “We Need More Love Letters” project, begun in New York City by a woman suffering from depression.
Hannah Brencher sought to lift her spirits by penning love letters to fellow citizens of the world, and then leaving them around town for those perfect strangers to find.
Brencher's letters have since turned into a nationwide effort and, of course, a website inviting writers: www.MoreLoveLetters.com.
Now, Kristin Halberg, Mindy Aisling and Marie McCartney, all of Port Angeles, have decided their community could use some love.
They're holding an informational meeting and letter-writing party from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Raymond Carver Room of the Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody St.
All three women are life coaches and collaborate as Thriving on the Olympic Peninsula (www.Thriving ontheOP.com).
Each was intrigued by the low-tech, random-connection nature of the More Love Letters project.
These letters spread positivity, the women said.
The writings tell their recipients: You are beautiful. You are an amazing individual. You deserve love.
“The recipient doesn't know who sent the letter,” said McCartney, so it comes out of nowhere, a letter from the universe.
And, she added, its sender had no agenda except to spread love.
“It's like when you're walking someplace, and somebody gives you a smile,” McCartney said. That smile was a gift with no strings attached.
The letter could come into the hands of someone who needs it at this particular time, added Halberg. These messages of love can be playful, of course, written with bright pens and awash in glued-on glitter.
Love-letter materials — including glitter — will be provided at Wednesday's session, Halberg said.
Adults, teens and children are welcome to join the letter-writing session and can arrive any time between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
“I am committed to staying there until everyone is finished,” said Aisling.
She added that these letters have a way of nourishing both sender and recipient.
“One of the highest truths, in my opinion, is to give what you seek,” said Aisling.
“If you are wanting love, give someone else love. If you are wanting joy, give joy.”
Halberg, McCartney and Aisling will also share information on how to participate in the letters project beyond Port Angeles.
The MoreLoveLetters.com site facilitates requests for letters for friends and family members who are facing hard times; writers can then read about these people and their situations and pen letters to them.
The More Love Letters team, according to the site, then sends bundles of letters where they're needed. The recipient can be someone fighting cancer, unemployed or missing a loved one.
A batch of letters from Wednesday's session will go to the national team, Aisling said.
As for the love letters written for Port Angeles, the three coaches plan to hide them in various spots downtown on Saturday, Feb. 23.
“We are inviting anyone who would like to join us,” said Aisling, “to meet us at 3 p.m. on the 23rd” in front of the Red Lion Hotel, 221 N. Lincoln St.
For more details, would-be letter writers are encouraged to phone McCartney at 360-460-5878, Halberg at 425-343-2374, or Aisling at 360-393-8992.
“I hope we attract a big crowd,” said Halberg.
“I truly believe that a little love creates exponential ripples of kindness.”
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.