Postcrossing Blog

Stories about the Postcrossing community and the postal world

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By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard the news of the devastating earthquake that took place in Turkey and Syria on February 6. Nearly 50,000 people have lost their lives so far and hundreds of thousands more have been injured, but there are millions more needing assistance across both countries. And all of this in the middle of winter, while the ground keeps shaking… it’s a really desperate situation.

Rescuers search for survivors at the site of a collapsed building in Hama, Syria

Lately, we’ve been receiving messages from postcrossers, asking how they can help. While we are not experts, we believe that donating money to local organizations that are on the ground is the most efficient way to help in an emergency like this, as they will know best what people actually need, and can funnel resources accordingly. So, we asked postcrossers in Türkiye and Syria which organizations they recommend — here are their answers:

this is a non-governmental organization funded by the Turkish musician and philanthropist Haluk Levent. It works in several different areas of solidarity and cooperation, and it has been very active in disaster relief efforts.
This is the governmental agency that is coordinating disaster relief efforts in Türkiye — they organize the work with other NGOs, and most of the food, clothing, and other needs of the victims are taken care of by this agency.
Syrian White Helmets
A volunteer-run organization that participates in rescue and evacuation missions in Syria, usually as a result of bombings, but now active in disaster relief efforts as well.

Besides these local groups, there are other international organizations present in Türkiye and Syria, among which the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, UNICEF and the UN Crisis Relief Fund are the ones we hear referred to the most. All of these agencies have decades of experience, and a good record helping in emergency situations.

We hope these links will help and encourage you to join us in making a donation to help mitigate the unthinkable effects of this crisis on millions of people. Your donation could become a hot meal, a blanket, a tent, or the help someone who has lost everything needs to restart their life — all of which will be welcome and important in these difficult times.


Some of you might remember Tatjana Buisson from when she launched her Postick Kickstarter campaign, back in 2012. She has a nice little pet project called Postcard Happiness, focused on bringing smiles to those who need them, via postcards. Tatjana tells the story of Postcard Happiness and explains what it is all about:

I spent three years living in Barcelona from 2006–2009. The distance from friends and family triggered my passion for postcards. I loved walking around the city taking pictures with my little digital camera (pre-instagram). I’d print out the the pictures I’d taken with specific people in mind, stick them on a piece of paper and send them to friends and family as postcards. I also liked to illustrate things I saw that I knew friends would love and I’d send my illustrations as postcards too.

During that time I discovered Postcrossing and started posting postcards to people around the globe. I loved the exchange and I loved how genuinely happy every postcard I received made me.

At the time a friend of mine was diagnosed as bi-polar and she was going through a very challenging time back in South Africa. I felt helpless living so far away because I knew that she was feeling alone but in my heart she wasn’t alone. I started sending her regular postcards of things that I thought might lift her spirits. It wasn’t so much the postcard itself as the reminder that I was thinking of her, that she wasn’t alone, that she was important to me.

I thought very little of it and years later I moved back to South Africa. It was only when I bumped into my friend’s mother and she explained how much of an impact those postcards had had on her daughter that I understood the power of a postcard.

I knew that there were hundreds of thousands of postcard-friendly people sending postcards to random strangers via Postcrossing and I saw that there was an untapped potential in the combination of these wonderful postcard-enthusiasts and the hundreds of thousands of people who are going through a rough time… People who just need to be reminded that they’re not alone. That even strangers care about their recovery or their achievement.

Postcard Happiness

I had had the idea for ages and finally launched it with my father as the first postcard recipient. He had had a stroke in 2011 and a year later I was so proud of him for his courage and determination to become independent and self-sufficient. He had worked hard to stay positive and he did not let anyone feel sorry for him because he didn’t feel sorry for himself. I felt that he deserved recognition from me and from anyone else who felt like sending him words of encouragement.

The postcards he received were genuinely heartwarming. People who didn’t know me or my father sent him the kindest messages. He phoned me in tears saying that he didn’t know what I had done or who these people were but that he was so grateful. Strangers were encouraging him to keep it up and their messages were genuine and loving. A lot of them came from a place of knowing. People who had experienced similar things or who had seen loved ones experience something similar.

Since then, I’ve kept the initiative going with friends and strangers who send me stories of loved ones who could do with a little postcard happiness. The project has consistently continued at a consistent pace because I’ve started my own little business with Postick and my illustrated cards which has kept me incredibly busy but I intend to put some dedicated time aside to get the project rolling at the capacity that I envisioned for it. I dream of connecting the initiative to schools and larger institutions with the capacity to make a massive impact on the recipients.

I recently met with a lady I added to the project late last year, Liana. She had been traumatized by an assault at her ice cream store and I added her to the project because I had heard that she had been dramatically shaken by the incident. When I saw her months later she told me that she had received over 70 postcards from all over the world. Korea, Japan, Germany, Holland, the US, France, Australia… She told me that the postcards had restored her faith in humankind. That she saw that there are a lot of good people out there.

Postcard Happiness

I believe this project has the potential to heal both the postcard senders and the recipients. So many of us want to do something good but we don’t have the time or the resources to get heavily involved in massive initiatives. Here’s a tangible, genuine and powerful initiative that enables us to do good in our own capacity. I underestimated the potential that lies in a little postcard. It has the potential to connect strangers in a beautiful and uncomplicated manner. It has the potential to make someone’s day. And the beauty of a postcard is that it lasts for as long as you want it to. It can be a daily reminder on someone’s wall.

Ready to spread a little bit of postcard happiness? Grab a postcard and head over to Tatjana’s website!

To stay on top of new requests for postcards, feel free to follow the Postcard Happiness Facebook page as well :)



I saw this call for postcards on the Letter Writters Alliance blog and couldn’t resist re-posting it here.

Smarter Every Day is a Youtube channel that explains interesting science bits. It’s run by Destin, a father who is really excited about science… and high-speed cameras! The videos are contagiously enthusiastic – the one about the mystery of Prince Rupert’s drop is a favourite around here!

So in this video about teaching his kids how to skip stones, Destin asks for help getting postcards to cover the walls of a room in his house. I think we can give him a hand… if there’s one thing postcrossers are good at, it’s sending postcards! :)

So if you have an extra postcard, please send it to:

Destin’s Wall Project (or something funny)
Smarter Every Day
PO Box 63
Hartselle AL 35640

He doesn’t ask for a specific message, but you could always mention your favourite science bit, ask a question, or say that you come from Postcrossing! :)

We’re looking forward to see how that room turns out!


Meet Amit Gupta. He’s the founder of Jelly and Photojojo, with whom Postcrossing had a long lasting partnership. Amit found out some weeks ago that he had acute leukemia, a very serious condition. He needs a bone marrow transplant by the end of the month.

The problem is, Amit is South Asian, and this ethnic group is severely under-represented in the bone marrow pool. He has little time left to find a donor.

So, as a personal plea, we wanted to ask you to please join a marrow registry today. It takes 2 minutes to sign up, and the test is really simple: you receive a q-tip, swab your cheek and mail it back. Furthermore, modern marrow donations are painless (like giving blood), and you might be the one to save a life.

If you’re in the USA, you can do it here. In Germany, register here. If you’re in The Netherlands, go here. Elsewhere, please see this post, or leave a comment below with instructions for the people of your country.

If you are already on a bone marrow registry, share this post with your friends and encourage them to register! But please do it fast, because time is running out for Amit, and others out there!

PS – If you need further incentive to join the marrow registry, some friends of Amit are offering a lot of money to the first match to enter the registry and donate his or her marrow to Amit.



Few events can unite the whole world such as natural catastrophes and the recent events in Japan have left no one indifferent. In the last days our thoughts are with those in Japan going through the hardship of a 9.0 earthquake and the devastating tsunami that followed.

We all feel powerless when such events are so overwhelming. But that is precisely why it’s important that we do do what we can to help recovering from this disaster. Below are some links we collected where you can make a donation to help recover from this desperate events.

By credit card through Google’s 2011 Japan Crisis website
In this page you are able to donate the Japanese Red Cross and to other institutions such as UNICEF, 'International Medical Corps’ and 'Save the children’.
Through bank transfer to Japanese Red Cross
Note that their website also recommends that you contact your local Red Cross for ways to donate. From their website:
“If you want to donate money to the affected population of earthquake and tsunami, please contact your national Red Cross/Crescent society, which may have already launched fundraising campaign within your country.”
Using Paypal Japan earthquake and tsunami relief website
You may donate to several different organizations through Paypal and they are covering all processing costs so 100% of your donation reaches the non-profit organization you choose.

Every donation, no matter how small, will surely help.

japan map Also a way that you can help is sending your support towards Japanese members using postcards. You may be wondering if your postcards will reach their destination in Japan. The Japan Post has published on their website that some areas are expected to have delays on the delivery. However, they are doing the best they can to deliver all the mail, even to those who might have lost their home, to whom they are making an effort to hand-deliver in person to those in shelters and evacuation centers – when such is possible.

We also received a report of a Japanese Postcrosser in the Fukushima area (one of the most affected ones) who was very moved by receiving a Postcrossing postcard hand-delivered to him by the mailman in the shelter he is at the moment.

So, please be extra patient with postcards traveling to Japan – even those traveling to areas that were less affected. Delays are expected. But remember that words of support and letting them know that our thoughts are with them is a way to help them go through these difficult times.

Edit: Google has a website with the addresses of the temporary shelters. Although this information is in Japanese only, you can find some details on how to interprete it at this forum thread