Here is a great idea for your daily give today – send a letter of thanks! October 9th is the World Post Day, which marks “the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in Switzerland.” (United Nations, n.d.) To celebrate this day and do your daily give at the same time, why not mail a thank-you letter to someone you appreciate?
One easy and inexpensive way of giving is to show gratitude to someone. Gratitude not only makes the recipient feel appreciated, but it also has physical, mental, and social benefits to the person giving it (if you want to see how giving makes you happy, check out our Happiness Research. One way to express your gratitude is through a thank-you letter.
Technology has changed how we communicate with one another; we use e-mails, text messages, and instant messaging instead of handwritten letters and cards. However, because handwritten letters and cards are rarer, people seem to appreciate them more than ever before. My family and friends often mention how much they love receiving letters, birthday cards, and Christmas cards from me. A handwritten thank-you letter in the mail can be a happy surprise for people you care about!
A piece of paper, a pen or a pencil, and an envelope will do the trick. If you want to put a special touch to your letter, visit your favourite stationery or greeting card stores and buy fancy writing paper. You can even buy thank-you cards with pre-written messages of gratitude. If you have difficulty expressing your emotions into words, such thank-you cards might be helpful. Just make sure that messages in these cards truly reflect how you feel.
Another great place to buy thank-you cards is a discount store. I buy packages of thank-you cards at a local discount store and keep them handy in my stationery box; that way, I can easily and quickly use them to show my appreciation to someone. (I developed this habit after watching a YouTube video of Randy Pausch, a late professor at Carnegie Mellon University, who talked about the power of handwritten thank-you cards.)
There are no right or wrong ways of writing thank-you letters – all you need are honest words to express your genuine feelings of gratitude. When I write thank-you cards, I mention specific gestures of kindness people showed and tell them how these gestures made me feel. Sometimes, when I am grateful simply for the presence of some people in my life, I write: “Thank you for being in my life!”, “Thank you for your friendship!”, or “Thank you for loving me!” If you want some ideas for words of gratitude, check out sample thank-you messages from this website: https://ideas.hallmark.com/articles/thank-you-ideas/thank-you-messages-what-to-write-in-a-thank-you-card/
You’ve done the hard work of carefully selecting writing materials and words of gratitude for your thank-you letter. Now, it’s time to visit a post office to send that letter (don’t forget to write your and recipient’s addresses on the envelope.)
If you want to go an extra mile in your giving, see if your post office offers special stamps that donate a portion of the sales to charities. Another boost to your give of gratitude would be to write a thank-you message on the envelope for the postal workers. My childhood friend used to write “Thank you, Mr. Mailman!” on the envelopes of all the letters she sent me.
That’s it! You’ve made someone’s day better with your give of a thank-you letter. I hope doing so made you happier, too. Happy World Post Day and happy writing!
Want to find out how daily giving can make you and others happier? Join 365give and participate in our 365give Challenge. Learn how giving every day will make you happier, and change the world one give at a time.
Source: United Nations. (n.d.). World Post Day 9 October. Retrieved September 30, 2019.