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  • Inclusion and Social Awareness

Carry letters. Don’t waste words!

Nothing comforts a lonely soul more than a few words that soften the doubt of existence. A letter can be an express mail for happiness. How long has it been since you wrote one?

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes and 7 seconds

© Helder Berenguer

Coming home at the end of the day, going to the mailbox and seeing there is an envelope there that’s different from the others. This one doesn’t have the threatening look of someone who’s going to make you pay some taxes, it even seems to be smiling at you! What can it be? You run to take the key out of your pocket so you can grab it and you read “With love, from your unknown friend”. If “Agora Escreve-me” (Now, Write to Me!) worked with post offices and I was involved, I imagine it would go something like this.

But no. “Agora Escreve-me” is a bit marginal. It escapes the system and decides it’s more fun to create connections that otherwise would probably never be created, to collide lives waiting to be filled. So, after an emotional and very warm reception from our participants in the previous year’s edition, there was no courage to abort the project and it came back full of things to tell!

We joined Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Aveiro, Centro Comunitário da Vera Cruz, Florinhas do Vouga, and Centro Escolar de Santiago. The result was 10 weeks, 32 elderly and children and countless shares! The conversations? These we can’t reveal, they are secrets kept in the smiles of our participants. The intermediaries were Agora Aveiro volunteers, who every week “dressed” as postmen to make the kindness reach both parties involved. If at the beginning you could see shy envelopes, the truth is that it didn’t take long and after a week of exchanges, you could already see envelopes filled to the brim!

This year, we wanted to get everyone together and be able to be in the presence of so much affection. However, given the fragile situation we are still in, it was wiser to again resort to online. Still, this was no obstacle to our friends associating a face with the calligraphy that visited them during these months, from October to December. I have great hope that some of them will continue their exchanges, even without the special “post office elves”.

The curiosity to know more about the person who writes to us, the feeling that we have given them something without even needing to go very far… All this is something that characterises this action. After all, all you need to do is sit comfortably at your desk. If you prefer on the floor with your legs crossed and your notebook resting on your knees. Does your writing flow better lying on your stomach? Go for it! It’s as you prefer, however, be sure to grab a pen, pencil, marker, whatever it is and write a letter today to send to a loved one. It could even be an anonymous letter to leave on a bench in the street for whoever passes by. Let out your words and send someone an express of happiness. It’s so simple! And no, this time, a text message doesn’t count! Take some time to resort to analogue, you’ll see that it pays off!

“Agora Escreve-me” is an action that makes part of the project “Encontro de Gerações” (Meeting of Generations). It is organized in partnership with Centro Escolar de Santiago, Florinhas do Vouga, Centro Comunitário da Vera Cruz, and Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Aveiro. It also has the sponsorship of Quero Imprimir as Main Sponsor and the support of Aveiro’s City Hall, European Solidarity Corps, Programa Geração Z and Instituto Portuguôes do Desporto e Juventude I.P..

Liliana Macedo