Postcards for purposes
September 5, 2022 3:09 PM   Subscribe

I signed up for that postcards to swing states thing and it turns out I'm very fast at them. Are there other causes I could write postcards for?

Ideally it would be for championing mental health, queer causes, or food security. No religion, please.

I recall a thing a while back where postcards were sent to people who had received treatment for suicide attempts and their rate of further attempts lowered, but I can't find any organization that is working with that concept. I have a long history of ideation and would love to reach out to others who might need reminding that someone is thinking of them.

I do lots of modular origami and crochet projects that involve making the same unit with a slight variation many times, and writing these postcards is using the same part of my mind. It's meditative and for an admirable cause. I'm a lot more leftist than the recipients of these postcards though and I would like to do similar work for a more specific group.

I'm in Seattle, WA, and have a small but dependable budget for volunteer things, so I can buy my own stamps and cards. I won't travel far though and I need an activity I can do at odd hours on my own.
posted by Mizu to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Postcards to Voters writes postcards year-round in support of Democratic candidates and voter registration.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:12 PM on September 5 [4 favorites]

Would writing to people in prison scratch the same itch?
posted by nouvelle-personne at 5:51 PM on September 5

Best answer: Seconding Postcards to Voters and you might also resonate with letters to trans kids.
posted by Threeve at 10:44 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]

It's a smaller group and not necessarily political, but I've really enjoyed writing Letters to Elders each month. I wish I'd known about it in time to nominate my own grandparents.
posted by picopebbles at 6:31 AM on September 6 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Activate America (formerly Flip the West) does postcarding for pro-choice candidates.
posted by box at 7:50 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Not necessarily postcards, but Amnesty International's Write for Rights encourages people to write in support of political prisoners around the world. The publicity it generates for their cases can in some cases be the only thing standing between them and execution.

Their website's not entirely clear though... the links to individual cases on that page don't all seem to be specifically people you can write to/for right now - I suspect they're generic links because this year's writing campaign isn't yet active - looks like it runs through November/December every year, so you could keep an eye out for this year's campaign and targets being announced.

I'm also not entirely clear of the balance between writing to the individual themselves to let them know they've not been forgotten and support their mental health while captive, and writing to their actual captors in support of leniency. I guess if you keep an eye out for it, it'll become clearer when they put active campaign info online for this year.

All that said, I'm an AI member, and I'm pretty sure their quarterly magazine always has a column with the details of people you can write on behalf of, year round. And local AI groups often organise letter writing events. Which suggests somebody somewhere has an ongoing list, so you could just contact them and ask.
posted by penguin pie at 10:58 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you for these leads, and if anybody has more I would love to know about them. I guess I wasn’t particularly clear, but there’s no need for the cause to be political, in the sense that it need not be for manipulation of the political process - everything is of course ultimately political, but I don’t care about the end point so much as the individuals affected.

One thing is that I like how I don’t have to think of what to write. It’s the same few messages, over and over. If I’m writing something different each time I would get bogged down in particulars and it wouldn’t be the same meditative activity. That said, I do also enjoy writing letters so I will probably check out some of those, it’s just a different part of my brain I’ll be using, you know?

Thanks again. I’ve marked some as best answer because I’m most likely to actually do them, but all of these are wonderful ideas.
posted by Mizu at 3:42 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]

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