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Writing Love Letters to Hundreds of Strangers “Absolutely Healed Me”

To cope with intense loneliness after moving to New York City, Hannah Brencher offered to write an old-fashioned love letter to any stranger who needed one. She never guessed how many people she would ultimately reach.

 
Hannah Brencher

Hannah Brencher. Photo from The World Needs More Love Letters.

In college, Hannah Brencher corresponded with her family via handwritten letters—not texting, Facebook, email, or phones. She found comfort in writing on paper.

Later, as a college graduate in New York City, she continued writing letters—this time to strangers—to curb the loneliness she felt in the city. She left them in cafes and libraries, and even at the UN.

When she posted a promise on the Internet to write a handwritten letter to anyone who needed one, her inbox flooded with stories from so many lonely and struggling people that she decided to start an organization, The World Needs More Love Letters, to help strangers connect and support one another in an increasingly fragmented, electronic world.

"I began writing letters on the train to individuals who seemed like they, too, could use a boost," Brencher writes. "In the span of nine months, I wrote and mailed over 400 love letters to people in need around the globe. And the process healed me. It absolutely healed me."

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