About the Project
Love Letters 2 Strangers first started in September 2011 by Ashley Green. With only a handful of blank note paper, pens and stickers, Ashley began to write words of inspiration, encouragement and love to people she had never met.
I always loved receiving thank- you cards, love notes or any little message from my friends and family. Inspired by my Mom, a high-school English teacher, I learned the importance and power of the written word and the impact a small act of kindness can make.
My mom has a cupboard full of cards. Growing up, I used to love surfing through the Hallmark aisle looking for that ‘perfect one’ she needed to find to give to someone. My mom never needed an occasion to show someone she cared and she reminded me, not with her words but with her actions, that simple small gifts from the heart can change someone’s life.
Some of my favorite moments I’ve shared with my mom were when she would give me a card, note or letter just because. A message inside a note telling me how proud she was when I graduated, a little card with “He’s not worth it” given to me after a break up – those are things I’ve kept and loved for years. Those words of affection had a huge impact on my life and, naturally, giving ‘love letters’ became a regular occurrence. I saw how it made the people in my life feel when they received a love letter and I felt amazing in return.
How it All Got Started:
I just woke up one day and decided that I had to do this. I was going through a time in my life where I felt I was missing something – that joy of giving back to those around me and making others feel amazing. I volunteered a lot in my city and considered myself an optimistic person but I was craving the opportunity to do more.
The very first time I handed a letter to a stranger I was terrified. I practically ran away from the lady but, before I could get far, she stopped me and gave me a hug and thanked me. The next thought in my head was…MAKE MORE LETTERS!
For over 11 months, I kept this love letter project mostly to myself. I shared the odd photo and told my closest friends, but, overall, Love Letters 2 Strangers was my own little secret. It wasn’t until I decided to make a presentation at the summer camp I volunteer at that things began to change. The reaction of the youth (ages 15-18) that heard about my project was overwhelming and reading the “love letters” they made that day finally made me realize that I had to start sharing this with others.
Over the course of a few months, I began hosting regular mini-workshops in my home until the numbers of attendees became too many to handle. I started hosting public workshops within Edmonton where people could learn, inspire and write their own love letters to take back to their community and distribute. The word got out!
Shortly thereafter, I began and travelling all over the Province, speaking to businesses, community centers, and schools about the amazing stories I’ve experienced and inviting others to write love letters with me. I currently am available to book for presentations and workshops – just send me an email here!
Do we really need to know someone to be able to respect, appreciate and show love to them? I don’t think so.
I have received countless emails from people who have found or have been given one of these love letters telling me of the impact it made in their life. I have heard stories of a letter finding their way into the hands of multiple people who would have never been connected otherwise.
I see a huge impact in the lives of my friends and family that are participating in this project with me and, in a phenomenal way, I have seen the impact love letters have made in my own life.
I know that these love letters are small, but I never doubt that each one of them has the potential for greatness.
My hope is that, if nothing else, this simple project reminds you to look for, seek out and celebrate every opportunity to make a positive impact in someone’s life.