By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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“It's very cheerful, it's happy, it's unexpected,” said Ta ma'ra Elliott, one of the owners of Elliott's Antique Emporium on First Street.
The antiques shop was one of more than a dozen downtown Port Angeles businesses visited by volunteers with the Port Angeles Love Letter Project Saturday.
The volunteers marched west along Front and First streets, ducking into stores and businesses along the way to hide anonymously written love letters penned weeks before — after asking permission, of course.
“I feel very privileged to get one,” Elliott said as she opened the bright yellow note she had just received.
“We could all use a little bit more love in the world.”
The letters handed out Saturday were made at a Feb. 6 event organized by Port Angeles life coaches Mindy Aisling, Marie McCartney and Kristin Halberg, who also organized the letters' distribution.
Paula Clark of Sequim said she attended the Feb. 6 letter-writing party and wanted to help give them out.
“There's nothing easier than writing something inspirational and handing it out to someone,” Clark said Saturday while the group gathered outside the Red Lion Hotel off of Lincoln Street before setting out.
Betty Halberg, mother of organizer Kristin, said she set out on the breezy but sunny Saturday afternoon in part to support her daughter and because she thought it was a wonderful idea, especially during the winter months.
“It's a great time of year to spread the love,” she said.
The Port Angeles effort is based on “The World Need More Love Letters” program, founded in New York City by a woman suffering from depression.
The love-letter-writing campaign has become a nationwide effort, based in part around www.More
In an interview at Country Aire Natural Foods as the Saturday excursion wound down, McCartney said she wished there had been a few more people participating but said she was happy with the results of Saturday's effort nonetheless.
She said she and her co-organizers plan to have other organized letter distribution events, possibly a several times per year.
McCartney said she also is interested in expanding to other communities on the North Olympic Peninsula, and said she would love to see others pick up the idea and run with it.
“My dream is that people take it and do it on their own,” McCartney said.
“But we'll do it again.”
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.