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Blog > Healing with postcards

BrainTrust Canada is a Canadian foundation that supports people who suffered brain injuries as a result of traumatic and non-traumatic injuries such as stroke, car crashes, falls and diseases. Although often invisible from the outside, brain injuries bring about dramatic changes that many people struggle with for their whole lives, including poor fine motor skills and social isolation… which is where Postcrossing can come in! Writing short texts can help improve some of those abilities, and also increase contact with the world.

Realizing this, Arlene (aka whodalalee) decided to help others in the organization use Postcrossing for this purpose. Last year, she created an account for them on the website, and invited BrainTrust members to participate in monthly meetings to go over the postcards received and to write some together. Arlene even made a board with a map where postcards are shown and everyone that walks by can interact with!

btc

We asked Arlene how the experience was going, and this is what she told us:

“It is a healing time once a month for us…we listen to soft music, chat a little but mostly, it is the companionship that is happening that they love. I print out the profiles we have been given and they all get to chose who they want to write to. Of course the benefit of connecting with the world outside of our injury is so exciting and helps with the re-generation of our neurons in our brains too! When you have a brain injury, you have to learn about your ”new you" and this makes a person very introspective and self indulgent, because we have to work on ourselves only before we can expand into the “normal” world. Postcrossing has been a step into the world beyond injury, and this is a BIG step and exciting step for all of the clients who share in our Postcrossing Partners Group."

Congratulations Arlene — what a brilliant idea! 😊 We love seeing all the different ways in which the Postcrossing community uses postcards to connect (and heal) the world. If you’re inspired by this story and have an idea for a partnership that would make the world a better place, get in touch!

If you’d like to send Arlene and the group at BrainTrust a postcard, here’s their address:

Brain Trust Canada
c/o Arlene Hildred
938 Neptune rd.
Kelowna, BC V1X 3E5
CANADA

PS: Quick update from Arlene, to show us some of the postcards they’ve received so far:

20190510 12124620190510 121321

She mentions that their little group has been overwhelmed with the warmth of the senders and the inspiring stories everyone has shared with them. Hurray! 😍

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72 comments so far

GoCindy, United States of America
Wonderful idea! Thank you for sharing.
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Blue_butterfly, United Kingdom
How wonderful! I became ill last year shortly after I started Postcrossing and it helped me 'keep going' in the months after my operation, giving me a positive focus. Postcrossing is truly wonderful and how great that Arlene's patients are enjoying it so much and it's so beneficial to them too.
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mounten, Italy
Congratulation, what a wonderful idea, if a postcard can help to make ill people feeling better what else do you need.
I wish you all the best for the future have fun and keep on going ciao from Italy.
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Olddutch, Spain
What a great idea! It sounds beneficial on many levels. Kudos!
Give them all my love, and I hope that one day I will receive a card from one of your Braintrust friends.
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DonnaM, Canada
Yay Arlene! You are such a positive role model for your Brain Trust Postcrossing group!!!
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alison41, South Africa
Well done Arlene - what a wonderful connexion you have created for all concerned.
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Girl-On-Bike, Netherlands
What a wonderfull idea! Yet another example of how important postcrossing can be,love it! Keep on the good work :)
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silverrose, United States of America
What a wonderful experience! Arlene, this is so inspiring! Music and writing, healing and self confidence building! Awesome!
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AgnesPauline, Netherlands
What a great idea Arlene, keep on very nice. Many greetings Agnes
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Chenoah, Germany
She’s my wonderful canadian penpal. I‘m so proud of her for her inspiring work and resilient spirit.
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sarahcprice, United States of America
This is amazing! I'll be praying for all of the patients and healthcare providers. I hope I get to send them a postcard soon!
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geminiscp, Portugal
Well done Arlene! This is a great idea, I hope ideas like this can reach other parts of the world and help more people. All the best for this group! :)
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booboo_babies, United States of America
I joined Postcrossing in February, 2006. Since then, I have had breast cancer twice (in 2012 and 2016). I swear that Postcrossing helped me recover both times! Postcrossing members are the kindest people in the world. Very rarely have I encountered members who are not really nice. The kindness of Postcrossing members - and their great postcards - is why I have been a member of this group for so long and plan on continuing!
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sacdalton, United States of America
i really enjoyed hearing about this activity! I had brain surgery 16 years ago appreciate the need to connect when you feel isolated either by the injury or the medications required. Great work!
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DMTerry, Canada
Congratulations Arlene. You all are an inspiration to many and I wouldn't be surprised to see more groups around the world popping up now that your idea has been shared. Keep up the good work my friend.
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Ramya, United States of America
In January of 2018 I had seizures due to the treatment of a tumor on my brain. New to my life was harsh medications, muscle weakness and isolation. I was frustrated with these changes but looked forward to daily happy things—like the mail! I walked with my cane to the letterbox- this got me outside. I wrote postcards with a new appreciation, read the ones in my letterbox with a new fondness and maintained my Postcrossing account happily. I can relate to BrainTrust’s success. Reaching out to other humans and feeling less alone through Postcrossing is an incredible healing experience! Postcrossing got me through a rough time and continues to be a sort of anchor in my life.
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Tranchile, Guernsey
Wonderful idea. I was born with a rare progressive genetic illness and my fine motor skills are very poor as well as my sight etc and I agree it is isolating as people don’t realise by looking at you how much you are coping with. Keep up the wonderful work Arlene as I admire people who step back and see how they can help to make life as normal as possible for people like myself without being patronising.
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Namibia13, Germany
Congratulations dear Arlene - for being featured here, but even more for the fights you have been through the last few years and taking so much care about others. You are amazing!
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mpaulamoraes, Brazil
What a great Idea!! Postcrossing is fantastic !!!
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udo, Germany
Hello Arlene, you have a great idea. I think it's great to help other people. Maybe you can give me some addresses that I can join. I wish you all the best.
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CorgiGirl, United States of America
What a wonderful idea. Keep up the great work!
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alterego, Canada
Congratulations, Arlene, for the work you do. Apart from the obvious physical benefits, the social impact and the kindnesses of postcrossers are like ripples in a pond, and you just never know how far or whom they will reach. What a wonderful idea!
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CarminaBurana, Canada
Congrats dear Arlene, such a great way to gather all together and doing positives things that benefit to all the peoplein your group. Long life to go! :D
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picketfence4, United States of America
Thank you for sharing yet another wonderful benefit of Postcrossings! Arlene, what a beautiful idea to incorporate and share :) PC, this was an inspirational article - so great to know what people are doing out there in the world to make an impact, one postcard a time even!
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Lolita_Minako, United States of America
This is such a wonderful idea! I sort of hope I get their profile one day, or they get mine! I’d definitely hunt down a special postcard for them!
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Luziaceleste, Brazil
Congrats, Arlene! Lovely idea indeed. Postcrossing is a magical thing, no doubt.
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prairiegirl, Canada
Thank you for sharing your great idea with all of us. You have such a positive attitude and you share that with every card. You are a great ambassador for Postcrossing and for the Brain Trust.
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Patsmum, Germany
Arlene, well done!
I joined PC in May 2015 not just to build up a collection of cards or to get in contact with people from all over the world, but also to train the fine motor skills of my right (writing) hand after a brain surgery in October 2014 - so maybe I can appreciate what you are doing better than many others…
It would be a pleasure to support your efforts, just let me know how!
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Flormequer, Portugal
Hy !! From Portugal grettings ! Happy Postcrossing !!
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harrickson, United States of America
Blessings to Arlene and BrainTrust Canada!
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mdam22, Australia
Nice one!!
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GuyT, Canada
I am speechless in my admiration.
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Ying777, Taiwan
It's a very meaningful activities:)
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FlynnRider, France
Such a great idea, I'd love to send them a card, but we don't have the address.
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betslets, United States of America
I have added Brain Trust Canada to my Favorites. Thank you, Ana, for another great blog. Congratulations and thanks to Arlene and your Brain Trust members for sharing your inspiring venture. You are all very much appreciated. May your future be very bright.
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whodalalee, Canada
Thank you to all who have been writing such encouraging words about our little BrainTrust Postcrossing Partners group. After having had 2 strokes in the last 3 years, I have learned a lot about what is important. This group is very important to my heart and soul. I am so pleased to share my idea with others in hopes that someone might feel that they can do something that could potentially benefit people like themselves. I can see this type of group helping many people. Thank You once again Ana for writing this blog about us!
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Sprinkledonut, Canada
Hi Ana and Arlene,

Are you able to share the address of the organization with us? In case some people would like to send a postcard to say hi and send a little Spring cheer?

Thanks! ^_^
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akaroxy2, Canada
Arlene, you are an amazing lady! What a great initiative!
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MsConnie, United States of America
What timing for this story! I'm a postcrosser and my 18 yr old son had a near death car crash Feb 9th. He's been through a lot and is now dealing with his head injury. ours lives our forever changed.
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unicorn11, Canada
Such a wonderful article, Arlene. Thank you for being so inspiring. I have received a postcard from your group and will treasure it always. Best wishes and keep it up! xo Tracey
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canadaposter, Canada
Hello my friend Arlene, you are a treasure ! Your dedication and drive are heartwarming. Such a wonderful group you’re leading. Wishing you and the group much joy. Your fellow Canadians are so proud of you! ❤️ Linda
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anicolai, United States of America
Terrific idea! I've shared the article to my Facebook feed. Hope some other people join as a result.
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Anidotje, Netherlands
Three years ago I had a stroke, writing and talking was difficult. But a labelprinter made the adress stickers and I started with 1 frase per card. Know three years later I can write hole card full with text and I still do postcrossing !! A beautiful hobby and exercise for me.
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Cardexplorer, United States of America
What a wonderful idea. Thank you for giving back to your community and encouraging kindness.
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postcardgal, United States of America
Arlene, what a brilliant service you are providing. I love this! I work with the learning disabled population and would love to do something like this as a part of my work with my students. I've often said that it is ART I want to do with the disabled population, for I love their art and their tender natures. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your loving service. Thank you for your pen pal friendship in Postcrossing xoxoxo Honest, "Post Card Gal" Darlene Rose DeMaria
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BevV, Zimbabwe
Keep up the hard work.
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viole, Finland
What a wonderful idea!
I am reiki practitioner, and use to send distant healing for many people during a week, to some even almost every day. Nowadays I am not well enough to do it as much as earlier - but I believe in all that kind of work, bless you all!
Maria
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Apelser, South Africa
What a lovely idea! I will definitely send a postcard to them.
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teamug, Germany
I just went and wrote a card.
Yet another wonderful example how postcrossing connects and helps people to heal in so many ways.
Keep it going....
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BridgetLarsen, Australia
Arlene you are one of a kind, keep up the good work, I'll send you a postcard from Australia
Have an awesome day
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GayeDoreen, United States of America
Hello Arlene! I’d love to send a postcard to your group! Is there an address we can have? 😊
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giorgina80, Italy
Hello Arlene the sweetness of this project :) a great hug from Italy
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HannahF, United States of America
Funny reading this. I'm actually still recovering from a brain injury myself. I can really relate to this.
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hajon, China
This project is really a good idea.I sincerely wish you all health and happiness.
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teamug, Germany
@GayeDoreen
The address is at the end of the interview.
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Qingao, China
Thank you Arlene, for letting me know postcards can do more in helping others! I‘m going to send a postcard to your group:)
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mounten, Italy
Hello just to drop you a line, I've wrote a postcard to the BTC in January but the address was a different one than the one listed above and it never got registerd or it got lost or the main office didn't know how to register my postcard ID IT 490402 send on 2019/ 01/ 24 can someone check it out thank you ciao and best wishes.
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Sfander, Canada
Good for you Arlene! I wish you continued success and lots of wonderful postcards to all the members of the Brain Trust Canada Postcrossing Group. Good wishes to you all.
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Terrierinarttu, Finland
Very good idea Arlene! I also use pictures in my work in rehabilitation centre. Pictures (postcards are pictures and little stories) helps people to talk. My postcard to you leaves today!
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ned44440, Ireland
How wonderful that something so simple can provide such help to people.
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moonlessnite, Canada
Now that is a great example of "Caring and sharing"!
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JasonDavid, Canada
What a heartwarming initiative, and a true demonstration of kindness.
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Gerda-RD, Netherlands
I like this idea from you Arlene! A card is so simple but so good. My card for your group I do in the mailbox today. Greetings from a sunny Netherlands.
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knopf-17, Germany
Wonderful idea! Thank you for share story and pieces of your life. Send you a card with greetings from Germany!
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chiquinina, Spain
this idea was so inspiring! I'm glad to check postcards do heal as well;)
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kathilo, United States of America
My brother-in-law suffered a brain injury after a fall from a ladder. It occurred to me that exchanging hand-written correspondence could be helpful to his healing, as I've read that writing in longhand can stimulate the brain.
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Moonlight1978, Germany
Wonderful idea and I will send a card soon. Thanks for sharing! ♥
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angg369, Malta
Thanks for sharing ,shall be posting a card if it makes someone smile.
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ConnieD, Netherlands
Wauw Arlene! How awesome. Great job!
Thank you for sharing this idea/experience.
I wish you and your patients a very happy mailbox ;-) and offcourse nice people to write to.
Liefs, Connie
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DawninNL, Netherlands
Hi meiadeleite, Such a lovely post. I sent a PC too, and I hope sometime soon there will be a follow-up post to tell us how many PCs they received from the people on Postcrossing.
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Andiamo, United States of America
Today I visited HeartOfGold-Peter who is recovering from a brain injury. I introduced him to your project, he loved it, and now we do Postcrossing together. Who should come in but Matt who is visiting Peter as part of his recovery from a brain tumor! He was familiar with Brain Trust in Canada and elsewhere and thrilled to learn about your project and Postcrossing. I gave him a copy of your blog and postcards to help him get started. Looks like we have the makings of a regular meet-up! I'll keep you posted!
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cherrytree687, United States of America
What an inspiring story!
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