The World Needs More Love Letters, or More Love Letters for short, is an international organization focused on writing and sending positive messages of love to people all over the world.
The organization was founded by Hannah Brencher in 2011. The idea began to form in 2010 when she wrote a single letter of encouragement and left it on a New York City subway for a random stranger to find. This became a practice of hers and the concept eventually evolved into More Love Letters.
Campus Cursive is a sect of More Love Letters specific to college campuses. These smaller-scale branches of the mother organization focus primarily on writing messages to affect a college community, but still send “letter-bundles” outside of campus. There are around 80 Campus Cursive chapters across the U.S. and in other countries.
Emily Bradley, a senior communications major, and Andrea Santoya, a junior social work major, were both inspired by Brencher’s story. They both applied to start a chapter of Campus Cursive at Appalachian.
Santoya applied to start the chapter when she was a freshman. She made efforts to get the club recognized with both Appalachian and More Love Letters, but was only able to get it recognized with More Love Letters.
A year later she got an email from More Love Letters stating that someone else had also applied to start a Campus Cursive chapter at App. That someone else was Bradley. The two met up, and two weeks later marked the first club meeting.
The club become an official organization recognized with both Appalachian and More Love Letters November of last year.
Santoya and Bradley said they were both motivated to create a branch of Campus Cursive because of a desire to spread a message of love, kindness and positivity.
“Hannah inspired me so much, I wanted to do the same for other people,” Santoya said on why she wanted to bring Campus Cursive to Appalachian. “I wanted to make others feel loved like she made me feel loved.”
Bradley and Santoya explained that the club’s purpose at Appalachian is to affect students in a positive way by providing encouragement, positivity and support.
“We’re college students, we’re stressed all the time, but we still need to be kind to each other,” Santoya said.
Club members write Post-it notes and letters and leave them around campus for Appalachian students to find.
“We’re just random strangers telling people that they’re loved, and they’re worthy,” Bradley said. “That they’re cared about and they’re never alone. That’s what we’re about.”
In the past Campus Cursive has held events such as positive Post-it Day. On Feb. 22 of this year, Appalachian’s campus was covered with seemingly never-ending layers of positive Post-it notes.
The club also organized a “Giving Tree” event during last April’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Week. Club members hung a multitude of letters from trees on Sanford intended for students to pick up for a pick-me-up on the way to class.
Cara Pace, a freshman biological anthropology major, said that the club’s efforts help foster a sense of unity on campus.
“In a world where there’s so much hatred, taking baby steps like this makes the world a little bit better,” Pace said.
Santoya said that any positive effect a message produces is important.
“Having an impact on one person, even if it’s just one, means so much,” Santoya said.
The president and vice president want the positivity to affect not only the readers, but the writers of the letters as well.
“The meetings are a time set aside for focusing on impacting other people with our words,” Bradley said.
Bradley hopes the bi-weekly Monday meetings are a time for members to take a break from their own pressures.
“Sometimes I come to meetings feeling really stressed,” she said. “Then I sit down and write a letter, and I immediately feel better. It’s very therapeutic.”
Pace said she has a similar experience at meetings.
“When I go I feel like I can take a break from whatever I’m doing and throw myself into helping a random person,” Pace said. “It’s good for my mental health.”
Looking ahead, Bradley and Santoya hope to reach more people with their positive messages.
Story by: Carrie Hall