Hannah Brencher is an author, TED speaker, and the founder of More Love Letters, a Global Organization that promotes the simple but powerful act of letter writing. She is the author of two best-selling books- ‘If You Find This Letter’ and ‘Come Matter Here.’ Her latest book ‘Fighting Forward,’ championed the truth that every song starts with a single note and with trust, and with a little time, each note and every tiny step adds up to a victorious anthem of showing up to this life and staying in the fight to become who God made us to be.
Hannah Brencher is a Connecticut native who started writing letters as a game. She explained, “My mother used to scribble love letters on paper napkins and sneakily place them in the bottom of my bright red lunch bag. Her reminders were hidden in the mundane of daily life that someone, somewhere is sending light and love. These letters, always hidden somewhere for me to find, came from my family’s long and winding lineage of letter writers. My grandmother passed the tradition down to my mother. My mother passed the tradition to me, one adorned envelope at a time.”
However, it all began when Hannah moved to New York City after college. She was working for a Human Rights NGO at the United Nations as their New York representative. She recalled, “It was a year of volunteer service, so you agreed to make no money for the entire year, and live off of $25 a week, which is incredibly hard in New York City. I felt like I knew what I was walking into especially coming right out of a very privileged liberal arts college, a very privileged background and then living in the Bronx, an immigration center and having to face national and global poverty head-on.”
That year was a difficult period for Hannah, and she struggled with sadness that eventually led to her being diagnosed with depression. She said, “I have always been a feeler, naturally, so I feel everything, see everything, and I people-watch everywhere, especially in the trains in NYC, and you aren’t supposed to people watch but I people watched. I found myself just starting to write letters. I was dealing with serious writers’ block when it came to content for my blog, but these letters came to me quickly. I would pick people out of the crowd and would start writing letters.”
Her first letter was filled with encouraging words that she wished she could have given herself at that time that gave her the brilliant idea to start leaving them around the city. On her quest, she would pick random places like Barnes and Noble and tuck the letters in her favourite books where she thought someone would find them. Hannah continued, “It was just a thing I did for myself, and I told my best friend about it, and nothing changed until I blogged about it several weeks later and at the end of the blog, I wrote, if you need a love letter for whatever reason, I will write to you. Never did I think that question would change my life in so many ways.”
Instantly her inbox was flooded with stories of people all over the world, and at that moment, Hannah said, “a veil was pulled and you can’t just sit there and think you are alone in what you are going through because everyone has proven that you are very much not alone.”
After this epiphany, she started taking printer paper and writing letters to people. She recalled, “Hundreds of letters to strangers was the crossroads to me asking if I was going to keep doing this by myself, am I going to kill it completely, or am I going to let this be about other people, and that is how More Love Letters was born.”
The World Needs More Love Letters is the world’s first global love letter writing organization using the power behind social media to write and mail love letters to individuals in need worldwide. The organization has since spread across six continents to all 50 states, over 49 countries, and nearly 100 college campuses. It has brought over 13,000 love letters into the world. The team comprises 20 passionate individuals with hearts on fire for a world with more love and connection.
“Letters—whether they’re breakup letters, or letters for people who are starting their first year of college, or just a random hello—we want to find a way to get them to as many people as possible,” she says. “Something that shows up in the mailbox for you—there’s a power behind that that you can’t touch.”
One of their success stories involves Briana, a single mother struggling to pay rent. Hannah wrote her story on their site and requested letters for Briana. When the day came to check her PO Box, Hannah found so many letters that they didn’t fit in the box. The letters were then compiled and sent to an overjoyed Briana.
More Love Letters has also partnered with Cards for Hospitalized Kids.“We realized that there were a lot of children out there that wanted to write letters and a lot of teachers that wanted to get children involved with the letter-writing process,” Hannah said. The effort was a success spreading to more campuses across the world with more love to share.
Even though it can be tough running an organization, Hannah said she continues to find motivation. “I’ve seen through this organization just how good people are and how wonderful people are and how genuinely people want to serve one another.” She continues her mission to spread love and light to everyone across the world.