My Country Style magazine arrived when we returned home after our nostalgic road trip past Dubbo and into the Southern Highlands. How timely. Firstly, I turned to page 28 and read with interest the article on Mea Campbell who has founded an organisation based on good old fashioned pen pals and letter writing.
It’s timely because Mea lives in Dubbo with her daughters and husband who works away. Loneliness and isolation, she says, hits many people. “It was the best and worst times.” The memory of her late grandfather as well as feeling the need to reach out to vulnerable people, allowed Mea to distribute hundreds of letters to the lonely and isolated Australians each week.
“It’s estimated that 40 % of the 250,000 Australians in aged care don’t get visits, and 2.5 million Australians aren’t connected to the internet.”
Connected AU offers a number of online hobby groups, gardening clubs and virtual book club.
Secondly, I think we need to appreciate the postal service and its commitment to helping others.
The Letterbox project caught my attention. Especially as this week, my children’s picture book is ready to be born, The Post Office Pup. Mea thought she would facilitate around 20 pen pal letters a week. After 12 months, the project has reached more than 3.5 million Australians. WOW!
Letters are tangible. They offer people support. I love receiving mail, and especially love responding to my friends and family. As Mea says, “we can see the slope of the handwriting and the smudges and blemishes. From all this, we can see and feel the effort.”
Reaching out to others through stories, poems and wishes can bring smiles, cheer and more connection.
I would like to think that dogs can do the same. They may not be sent in the mail ( although some do fly first class) but they offer companionship, hope, comfort and play with others and their owners. Dogs, cats, birds and moving creatures add sparkle, enrichment and relationship.
Shilo, snuggles down behind the counter in the Mapleton Post Office. He is a well loved pet.
He’s not the boss although he is very aware of his surroundings and the mail and parcels being delivered daily.
Here’s a Winter challenge for you.
Why not hand write a letter to someone this week, compose a poem for an elderly person in a nursing home or take your dog for a walk to post the letter. Buy a lovely postage stamp. Write in your finest hand writing. And for a child, include a sticker on the back. Make sure to include your own address and postcode.
Until next time, stay safe, and find someone who feels small and invisible, and make their day happier.