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Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "mail-project"

February is a busy month in the mail calendar, and we can’t wait for it to start! Are you ready? :)

Letter Month

I love a good mail challenge, and since February is the “Month of Letters”, it is time to dust off your special stationery and put pen to paper! It’s the perfect opportunity for reconnecting with family and friends, sending a Valentine card to your special someone, saying thank you to the helpful people in your life… or simply surprising strangers across the world with postcards! 😉

The rules of the Month of Letters challenge are simple:

  • Mail at least one item through the post every day it runs. Write a postcard, a letter, send a picture or a cutting from a newspaper… anything goes!
  • Write back to everyone who writes to you. This can count as one of your mailed items.

That’s it! The challenge started back in 2012, after Mary Robinette Kowal decided it was time for a break from the internet. She spent a month offline, and asked her friends to communicate with her through letters. The results were relaxing and intimate, so she decided to invite others to join, sparking a flurry of correspondence.

Mail Carrier Appreciation Day

Another happy mail-related event coming up is Mail Carrier Appreciation Day, which happens every year on February 4th. This is the day to celebrate our trusty postmen and women, who make it possible for this hobby to exist by delivering all our postcards!

The date falls on a Sunday this year… but don’t let that stop you from making something nice for your mail carrier. Pour your gratitude into a thank you note that you’ll deliver (or affix to your mailbox) on Monday February 5th, when they make their rounds. I’m sure it’ll be the highlight of their day!

If you can, take a photo of what you did to celebrate this special day, and share a link to it in the comments! 😊

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Remember Marina’s Scarf of Friendship that we mentioned here on the blog last year? Marina (aka 167marina) from Russia had been collecting bits of yarn from all over the world to knit a super scarf that embodied the unity and friendship between different nations.

It took a whole year, but she finally finished this project late last year and took some photos with her friend Dasha, to show you the result. We thought the photos looked so lovely, we had to make another post about it! Have a look:

Marina's Scarf of Friendship Marina's Scarf of Friendship 39

Isn’t that amazing? 😍 The colourful creation ended up being over 10 meters long and including all kinds of yarn, from wool to mohair, angora, cashmere, acrylic and even bamboo…

Marina's Scarf of Friendship

As well as postcrossers, she asked for help from all her friends and ended up with bits of yarn from 60 countries and 6 continents! Marina says:

“Each thread that I added to the scarf, was associated with a different country. I imagined the hot Bahamas, rainy London, night in Hong Kong, ancient palaces of Osaka, vivid festivals of India, the rock art of Egypt… Knitting is like traveling the planet! This scarf is a string of the Brazilian jungle, African desert, from the cold of the North Pole (Spitsbergen archipelago) and South distant Antarctica. They did the long and hard way: they were taken by snowmobile, helicopter and boat, by ship, by plane, by rail and finally by road.”

That sounds really inspiring — bravo Marina!

What about you? Planning any cool postal projects in 2018? Do share in the comments!

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Scarf of FriendshipHave we mentioned how much we enjoy seeing postcrossers getting creative with their hobbies? A few years ago, we wrote about a Postcrossing-sourced quilt and also showed some beautiful knitted and stitched postcards on our Instagram. Today we have another Postcrossing-inspired project to share!

Marina (aka 167marina) is a postcrosser and a knitter from the Tombov region in Russia. She tells us that her small town of Rasskazovo is often described as the “capital of knitting”, because most people like knitting there. It seemed natural to combine the two hobbies somehow… so one day, Marina decided to create a special scarf with yarn sent to her by other postcrossers from all over the world. She called it the “Scarf of Friendship” and posted the request on her profile. Soon enough, colourful bits of yarn started arriving through the mail, along with her postcards…

Scarf of Friendship

And voilà! Right now, the scarf has the very impressive length of 2 meters, and features yarn from 23 countries! It’s still a work in progress though, as Marina will keep knitting it till the end of the year — so if you’d like to participate, send her a message. :)

Here is her dad, modelling this awe-inspiring project:

Scarf of Friendship

Isn’t it wonderful how random strings of yarn from all over the world can be connected into a beautiful scarf? Come to think of it, this sentence sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it? I guess we’re just fans of connecting things, be it through postcards or yarn! 😊

Well done, Marina — we look forward to seeing the end result!

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The Letter Writers Alliance turned 10 years this week, and we’ve been extremely remiss in not mentioning it on the blog before. So today we’re setting this straight and letting you all know about the best letter writing community out there!

Letter Writers Alliance

Started in June 2007 by Kathy and Donovan, the Letter Writers Alliance is a wonderful project dedicated to maintaining the art of letter writing. Membership for life costs just $5, and gives you access to the many activities they have, as well as to the member-only section of their shop.

I’ve been a card carrying member for over 5 years now, and besides enjoying the posts on the LWA blog and mailart inspiration on Instagram, there are two things they organise that I’m particularly fond of: the penpal exchange and the book club.

The penpal exchange is what it says on the tin: you sign up for a new penpal, tell them a bit about yourself, and some days or weeks later, they match you with someone they think you’ll enjoy exchanging letters with. The difference is that all matches are done by hand, as Kathy carefully chooses who your next penpal is going to be. The results are usually brilliant!

The book club also works really well. Every quarter they pick a new book related to mail, letters or other postal topics, which is then read by everyone and discussed live in video and chat. The discussion is always lively, and I’ve found some really interesting books this way.

They also keep a very interesting blog on all sort of postal-related subjects, offer free downloads and stock their shop with carefully designed postal items, such as writing paper, rubber stamps… and even pigeons you can send your friends by mail to surprise them!

It’s an inspiring project with strong values — one that we admire and often recommend when we notice postcrossers are into letter writing. So if you like letters as much as postcards, you should definitely check it out! 😊

Letter Writers Alliance

Happy 10th anniversary Letter Writers Alliance, and congratulations Donovan and Kathy!

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If you’re anything like me, you cannot bear the thought of throwing stamps away — not even used ones. Luckily, there are many organizations out there that collect them to finance good causes or bring awareness to important issues. Today we’re choosing to highlight one of them that was brought to our attention by Charlotte (aka maxcat1) from the USA.

The students at Foxborough Regional Charter School in Massachusetts have a longterm project called the “Holocaust Stamp Project”, through which they are attempting to collect 11 million cancelled postage stamps. You can probably guess why such a big number, but we’ll let them explain in their own words:

Each stamp that is collected symbolizes one wasted life, “thrown away” as having no value, much the same way as an envelope bearing a cancelled stamp postage stamp is tossed in the trash.

Begun in 2009, the Holocaust Stamps Project is a component of community service learning (CSL), at Foxborough Regional Charter School. It is a unique educational initiative that provides opportunities for students to gain a deeper understanding of how important it is to demonstrate acceptance, tolerance, and respect for diversity in their own daily lives.

The goal is to collect 11,000,000 postage stamps as a way to symbolically honor every victim of the Holocaust. Students and community volunteers trim and count the thousands of stamps that arrive daily from across the country and the world. The wide range of themes depicted – people, world history, places, flora and fauna, inventions, ideas, and values – leads to discussions about what makes our diverse world so special.

Eleven million is an unfathomable number.

According to the last update from May 2nd 2017, over 9 million stamps have already been collected, so they’re well on their way to reaching the goal they’ve set.

FRCS Holocaust Stamp Project

Over the years, classes have been using the stamps to craft meticulous collages showcasing certain aspects of the holocaust. The resulting pieces of art are a thoughtful reflection of the lessons learned from this dark period of humanity’s history, from the viewpoint of the students.

So… care to send them your old stamps and help build a more tolerant and inclusive future for everyone? Put them on an envelope (preferably with a count of how many you’re sending) and mail them to:

Holocaust Stamp Project
Foxborough Regional Charter School
131 Central Street
Foxboro, MA 02035
USA

Feel free to include a message of encouragement too, if you’d like — I’m sure it’ll be appreciated. And if you know of other worthy causes, please share them in the comments! 😊

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