Student Writes Love Letters to Strangers

Student Writes Love Letters to Strangers

Alexis Griffin, Columnist, 2011-2013

Recent college graduate Hannah Brencher is fighting her depression and anxiety by reaching out to others through random love letters. Brencher and her More Love Letters campaign are part of a growing number of organizations concentrating on the beneficial effects of random acts of kindness for givers as well as receivers.”Sometimes people would give a small gift to somebody, or picking somebody up from work, visiting sick people, thanking a bus driver. They were actually fairly small acts,” explained Dr Alden, a researcher from the University of British Columbia. In a recent study led by Dr.Alden, volunteers with high levels of social anxiety were asked to commit multiple acts of kindness on two days a week over a four-week period.They were supposed to commit certain tasks that were outside of their comfort zone, like going out as a group with friends, or shopping in new place. Brencher participated in these studies when she was trying to focus on helping others.

Most of Brencher’s speeches focus on how humans should be more attached to each other. While waiting for the mail, she would write her thoughts down about her day and how she felt and whatever else happened. When Brencher started college, life became too stressful for her and she launched into a deep depression. She began writing down not only her thoughts, but also letters to strangers who might be struggling in similar ways.

Brencher starts her letters with the following: “You and I don’t know one another. We may never laugh over a cup of coffee. We may never dance in the same circles or yawn together by the midnight hour. But none of that matters to me…” She goes on to say how the person reading her letter is thinking how crazy she is for doing that and how they’ll never know what shes really like. How she knows what she deserves and why. She ends the letter by telling the person how they matter to her, no matter who they are and what they’ve done. “You matter to me. In a way I cannot explain, you matter to me. And you, you are a marvel… you and all the parts of you.

Love,

A girl just trying to find her way”