If you plan to travel this winter break or decide to rest at home, the simple act of sending a postcard can renew one Canadian woman’s spirit. Read more.
Project Postcard is a feature article in the Fall 2014 issue of International Student Voice Magazine. Learn how you can read the entire issue here.
Thanks to social media and email, it’s rare people send anything in the mail anymore. The excitement of checking the mailbox is gone. If we do receive something it’s usually some type of bill, leaving us groaning about the unfortunate decision of checking the mail in the first place.
Despite living in the day of modern technology, there is still a chance for you to send a piece of mail that can warm the heart of someone in need.
Kathryn Saunders, 59, lives in a nursing home in New Brunswick, Canada. She’s been there for the past 11 years because she has multiple sclerosis. She had just finished her degree in education and planned to teach when she was diagnosed.
“She is frail,” her daughter, Elizabeth explained. “She doesn’t have many physical abilities left.”
Elizabeth lives two hours away from her mother, so she can only visit on the weekends. During one visit Elizabeth and Kathryn decided to look at some old photo albums and postcards.
“My brothers were in South Africa at the time, we were talking about if they would make it home before their postcards,” Elizabeth started. “We were looking through old postcards and guessing what they were doing. Then my mom made the comment about how much she loved receiving mail. She doesn’t get bills or anything, so when she does get mail it’s very personal for her. It really lit a light bulb.”
From there Elizabeth decided to see if her friends in Asia and Europe would send her mother postcards. She posted it on Facebook and it snowballed quickly. Since April 2013, Kathryn has received more than 500 postcards from around the world.
“One of the first packages arrived from a group of 25 students,” Elizabeth shared. “It started with a lot of friends and then they asked their friends. Now the postcards that come in are from people neither of us know!”
The senders usually share well wishes, facts about the destination, and jokes on the postcards.
“She is a trivia buff,” Elizabeth laughed. “She’s thirsty for facts. And she’s always up for a good laugh.”
Receiving the postcards has helped Kathryn in many ways. Not only does it give her something to talk about, but she is a whole different person than she was a year ago.
“Her disease is progressing, but she has such a renewed sense of spirit and has a smile so often now,” Elizabeth shared. “She feels special. She said she feels almost famous because there’s so many people paying attention to her!”
When Elizabeth started this project for her mother, she never thought it would grow so big, so quick.
“It’s been amazing to see how it’s impacted her, I thought it would just be a few people,” Elizabeth said. “Even my brothers see a big change in her from last year. She now has something to look forward to. We are just so appreciative of those who already sent and send positive thoughts.”
If you would like to send a postcard to Elizabeth’s mother, Kathryn please use the following address:
[typography font=”Permanent Marker” size=”28″ size_format=”px”]Kathryn Saunders
Drew Nursing Home
165 Main Street
Sackville, NB E4L 4S2
Editor in Chief
International Student Voice Magazine