Handwritten letters have become increasingly rare, displaced by phone calls or electronic communication to such an extent that cursive is no longer taught in some schools. It is a pleasant surprise to spot one in the mail, knowing the personal attention required by the sender. Imagine finding a supportive, encouraging letter that a stranger left in a public place to be discovered. Or receiving an entire bundle of handwritten letters sent by strangers, at the request of a friend, to help lift your spirits during a difficult time. That is the mission of the global organization, More Love Letters, and its NMU student chapter, Campus Cursive.
Eliza Groll, a junior graphic communications major from Central Lake, Mich., applied to More Love Letters to bring Campus Cursive to NMU as part of her community service internship for the Student Leader Fellowship Program. Campus Cursive, like its parent organization, responds to requests from people who know of someone going through a difficult time such as a breakup, illness or loss of a loved one.
“I think NMU—and the world for that matter—has forgotten the importance and impact that a handwritten letter can have on somebody,” Groll said. “In an age where everything has gone digital, Campus Cursive strives to spread love in tangible ways. I think more joy needs to be spread, and I think now more than ever that we need it to be spread in ways we can literally grasp.”
More Love Letters was established by Hannah Brencher. According to its website, she had graduated from college and found herself slipping into a depression after moving to New York City.
"So I started to get really honest in the pages of my notebook," Brencher wrote. "And eventually those thoughts morphed into letters and I found myself myself ripping the letters out and leaving them all over New York City for people to find. I left them everywhere: Coffee shops. Libraries. Coat pockets in department stores. I liked to imagine who might find those letters."
These random acts paved the way for the organized effort, More Love Letters. The organization’s mission is to brighten someone's day through the written word. Examples of requests recently submitted are: Michelle, who is battling depression, anorexia and the ups and downs of friendship in college; and Jenn, a 30-year-old woman who just lost her husband to cystic fibrosis.
To submit a letter request or get involved with NMU Campus Cursive, email email@example.com or send a message to the Facebook page, “Campus Cursive at NMU.” For more on the international organization, visit moreloveletters.com.
Molly Egelkraut, a student writer in Marketing & Communications, assisted with this story and is a member of Campus Cursive.