Is there any better feeling than opening the mailbox and – instead of finding bills or appointment reminders – discovering bona fide correspondence from a person you know?
If you are fortunate enough to be pen pals with Emerson Weber, you receive an elaborately decorated letter that includes an update on her brother, Finn, probably a mention of Taylor Swift and a joke.
Like this Emerson original:
Q: Why do you never see elephants hiding in trees?
A: Because they’re really good at it.
Letter writing may have gone the way of the land-line telephone, but Emerson hasn’t stopped with her dozen or so pen pals. She wrote to her mail carrier as well, sparking a chain of appreciation that rippled through the U.S. Postal Service.
“I’m Emerson. You may know me as the person that lives here that writes a lot of letters & decorated the envelopes. Well, I wanted to thank you for taking my letters and delivering them. You are very important to me. I make people happy with my letters, but you do too.”
Because Emerson doesn’t have a phone, writing letters is how she stays in touch with friends, she explained in her letter to Doug, her postal carrier. From there, Doug shared her letter with Sara, his supervisor.
Then they returned the act of kindness, writing Emerson back, but also sending her story up the post office chain, where it made its way into the internal postal service newsletter for the Western U.S. If anyone knows how to get a message out, it has to be them, right?
The snail mail swelled after that, with postal carriers from all around sending her letters. Some included stamps. All thanked her for acknowledging them.
“I can’t tell you how much it means to read your letter...”
Emerson got to meet Doug in person as he delivered the first two boxes of mail for her.
And because she’s such a conscientious pen pal, Emerson’s made it her mission to respond in kind to every single letter. It’s her way to keep the human connection going, to let people know they matter.
As an act of kindness, hers is one that can keep going, and growing.