National Card and Letter Writing Month is in full swing, but for one Cleveland resident, reviving the art of handwritten correspondence is a year-round pursuit.
Deanna, who prefers to not disclose her last name, runs both an Instagram account and a club that celebrate people who use the mail to keep in touch with friends and family.
“We’re doing our part to keep the mail alive and resuscitate letter writing,” she said.
The Instagram account, Global Pen Pal, has more than 1,800 followers. Deanna, who corresponds with people across the world, uses the account to post snapshots of the letters and postcards that fill her PO Box each week.
The club, CLE Letter Writers Club, meets monthly at a Cleveland coffee shop for conversations about using the mail, including discussions of stationery and stamps.
“I found my tribe, a home for letter writers,” Deanna said. “I love bringing people together and seeing people connect.”
Deanna, the mother of two college-aged students, embarked on her mission in 2014 after realizing younger people are “moving away from the basic things I have been raised with — social etiquette — and a loss of acknowledgements though handwritten notes.”
Samantha McClintock, 26, joined the club after moving to Cleveland last year. She likes doing her part to keep letter writing alive.
“I often write letters to my niece that just say, ‘I love you. Here are some cool stickers,’ or I’ll write to my dad and include some silly song lyrics. Anything can be a letter,” she said.
While Deanna admits to being a little exasperated with the digital age, she appreciates social media’s ability to help spread the word about letter writing.
“There is something really awesome about sending out letters,” she said. “I just love the whole idea of the mail, the history of it. … I just love the whole thing.”