On Saturday, I hosted a fundraiser for The Letter Project. What I learned through the process is that asking people to come to your house, volunteer for your cause and - wait for it - pay to do it - is a super, duper vulnerable feeling. You're asking people for time, money and energy all in one fell swoop.
As I opened my front door Saturday morning and was greeted by smiling woman after smiling woman - many of whom I did not know - I was almost brought to tears. Some people came alone! To a random house in Atlanta! That is so brave. Some people brought friends! They not only supported the event, but helped spread the word. That is so amazing.
I realized that this week, on Friday, it will be exactly four months since I launched The Letter Project. One third of a year has already gone by, which feels in.sa.ne. This project is nothing (literally. nothing) without the support of other people. I feel completely overwhelmed by the way so many of you - from strangers to family and everyone in between - have supported me through these precious, incubator days. I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way.
(And yes, if I were to win a Grammy, this is really similar to how my acceptance speech would go.)
Thank you to all of you readers:
Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for believing I could add value to your day. Thank you for sharing my posts. I had no idea that, when I started blogging in 2008 (about basically nothing), it would become a launching pad for this project and would lead to so many amazing friendships and internetships. Thank you for challenging me to reflect and grow. Thank you for teaching me the discipline of consistent writing. Thank you for your emails and comments. Thank you for coming back to this space again and again, reminding me that somebody out there is listening.
Thank you to The Letter Project writers:
Thank you for using your own time, energy and postage to bring light, love and wisdom into this world. Thank you for giving me feedback. Thank you for consistently signing up to write to our sweet recipients. Thank you for inviting your friends to write and for growing the project. Thank you for sneaking extra stamps into your bundles for me. Thank you for sending items off of our Amazon Wish List. Thank you for the care packages full of stationery and love.
Thank you, most importantly, for caring about girls you don't know, simply because you're a good person who cares about other people. That kind of generosity warms my heart in the deepest way.
Thank you to my friends:
Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for the pep talks. Thank you for caring about this cause, not because you necessarily care about it, but because you care about me. Thank you for signing up to write letters. Thank you for being on my emergency writing team. Thank you for your donations. Thank you for hosting Write Nights. Thank you for the care packages, which have brought me to tears and reminded me that, even though some of you are far away geographically, you're still beside me. Thank you for loving me and supporting me.
Thank you to my family:
Thank you for loving me through one of the most vulnerable seasons of my life. Thank you for letting me talk about The Letter Project constantly. Thank you for writing letters when there were not enough volunteers. Thank you for donating. Thank you for encouraging me to quit my job, even though I didn't totally, exactly have a plan. Thank you that, whenever I ask you to do anything, you say: of course! Thank you for letting me run ideas by you 24/7. Thank you, also, for giving me ideas to make this better. Thank you for spending part of your Christmas break bundling letters.
Thank you for being proud of me. Most importantly, thank you for being the type of people I want to make proud, because you always make me feel proud of you.
Thank you to Chris:
Thank you for doing everything above (literally everything. Except for writing letters). Thank you for being my business partner and barista. Thank you for letting me talk about The Letter Project when we're lying in bed and eating breakfast and making dinner and on road trips and, well, constantly. Thank you for teaching me Excel and streamlining my processes and helping cut ribbon. Thank you for challenging me to think big and keep going and to take deep breaths.