Discover and share stories

of adventure, connection, and change making.

Do

35 others are in

  • Stephanie McCown
  • Clothes2 The Heart
Do It

Write 7 Impromptu Letters for the Homeless Over the Next 7 Days!

Morgan Grace

Where
Your Neighborhood
When
July 28, 2013

A dear friend recently shared a touching story with me. Being the incredible artist she is, she designed and wrote one specific letter for the day that read, "you are magnificent." While filling up at the gas station, she noticed a man sitting on the side of the parking lot. She felt the instant universal tug to give the card to him and started walking, card in hand. The transfer was made, and the somewhat startled man read that he was magnificent, looked up at her with great conviction and said, "today is my birthday. Thank you for this."

Since the day I heard that story, I started keeping stationary in the passenger seat of my car for opportunities to share some of this love. We've all got it. We all need it. Let's rally together and make this happen.

Inappropriate?

Discuss

  1. {{attachment.file.name}}

Ready to post! You’ve uploaded the maximum number of images.

Oops! Nice pic, but it’s just not our (file) type. Please try uploading a .jpg or .png image.

Well, this is embarrassing. Something went wrong when posting your comment. Care to try again?

That image is too large. Maximum size is 6MB.

Posting comment...

  • Hannah Kim

    Hi GOOD community I'm going to do this "do" for the following week ~~~~ I'll check back in next Wed, August 7, with my results and thoughts!
    I hope you'll join me! If you have any thoughts/ideas on ways to best do this then please share them with me! Or if you have already done this and have some insights, that would be great too. :)

    • Morgan Grace

      I can't wait to hear about your experiences! I'd love to collect everyone's most powerful moment as a result of this "do" and compile them into something crafty and inspiring. Send 'em on over! :)

    • Morgan Grace

      This is such an awesome idea. The beautiful friend I wrote about in the description did just this. Spreading love via cards all around the city of Austin. Well done. Keep me posted on this :)

  • Fsuraiya

    When I first read it, I thought to myself, what an amazing idea!! I'M IN!!! there was a small catch though, in Dubai, you rarely get homeless people. But the world had other plans and I phenomenally got to write a message!! Taking part in yesterday's laboress (brutal!) Adopt a Camp project Day 1, all the heavy lifting and so, we also got to add in messages to the laborers whom our boxes that would be put together today. unknowingly, i got my message out there, feels so great too! My Message as drawn in: "To the blue collared soldiers....Thank you!" in appreciation of their work that made this city rise from dunes to skyscrapers <3

    • Morgan Grace

      That's splendid! This challenge is all about connecting through messages in any form-not just pen and paper! What you did was creative and noble! Thanks for sharing! Keep me up to date :-)

  • Scott Gustafson

    It is such a simple and yet complicated gesture. To meet another person who is in a different circumstance than yours and give them the dignity they deserve as a human. This also applies to people who are, to use an antiquated term, above your station. W are are all people living on this rock and the degree of our commonality out stretches our differences by a wide margin.

  • vanessa carson

    Love this idea, words of wisdom can go a long way whether it's written in chalk on the sidewalk or advertised on large billboards!

  • Morgan Grace

    Update: On my way home from work today, I saw a familiar face at the stoplight. The light turned green and people were flying, so I made the designated u-turn and handed the card over to Scott, a compassionate Army vet who is admittedly just trying to get by. We ended up having enough time to talk about his hobbies and he insisted I spread his name and current intersection address to those needing contractor help. A sweet day, to be sure. I'd love for you guys to share your stories as a result of this "to do!" Have a beautiful one!

    • jennifer prod

      i love this. it's great to know people are making such a concentrated effort to help others... or simply let others know that strangers are willing to help them.

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      It's great you had a conversation. I think that's key. Getting to know someone before you write them.

      • Morgan Grace

        Thanks, Alessandra! I believe it makes all the difference in the world. It shows you care about who they are rather than the mere act in which you are executing.

        • Alessandra Rizzotti

          Morgan, please let us know if you expand this. Email me at alessandra at goodinc dot com and we can help you write about it!

  • John Wynn

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story...such a simple gesture yet it says so much. I will do this!

    • Morgan Grace

      Great! Thanks for your enthusiasm in this effort!

  • Clothes2 The Heart

    I started something called Clothes 2 The Heart which I will be aiming for a store location soon but it's aimed at giving 'houseless' people free clothes. Also lots of 'houseless' people that I have met and spoke with since October 2012 when I really jumped head first into things have been young and traveling. My goal is to offer them free clothes with no id but I wanted to first just clarify ANY 'homeless' person I speak to is more about the word 'housless'. Why? Because the earth is all of our home and 'houseless' fits much better. I first started hearing this in Venice Beach California where it's like a mecca for 'houseless' but I have written many cool phrases onto small pieces of paper and left them with traveling houseless. I am glad to see a blog post like this and much support I hope this sparks a ton of people following. It really makes my day being told something nice so I know it makes others days and I've seen it work.

    Thanks for doing what you do!

    • Morgan Grace

      Some friends of mine started something in Austin called the "Free Store" whereby all of our 'houseless' can come in and see what they need and obtain it. If you need networking or any type of advice, I can certainly connect you with the right people who can help you in your endeavor, should you need it. I must say your title is super clever! I also like your story and usage of 'houseless.' I wish you the best and can't wait to see what you do next!

      • Clothes2 The Heart

        That's awesome I'm glad to hear! I hope they have great success but yeah definitely I have a few questions. Once a store is open I will want to do things differently than I've seen but more similar to what you're friends are doing than other places with a similar format.

        Thanks a ton for the title compliment, much appreciated! I'm super glad to see that already with using a blogging site I'm gaining opportunity for more learning and doors are already opening. The future will be very interesting and productive, it will be awesome!

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      Would love to know more about your org. Can you email me at alessandra at goodinc dot com?

    • Morgan Grace

      That is wonderful! Sincerely, thanks for what YOU are doing! Please keep me posted on the development of this project!

  • Adele Peters

    That's great. I found a little business card on my car once that said "You are f*cking awesome," and it totally made my day.

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    Thanks for this great idea. I'm going to include it in good.is/push-for-good. Have you heard of moreloveletters.com?

    • Morgan Grace

      I would love for you to include this piece! I have certainly heard of moreloveletters.com. I signed up to be a writer after I heard the TED talk. A WONDERFUL organization.

  • Hannah Kim

    This is such an amazing idea! I love it, everyone deserves to be appreciated and feel like someone cares about them. This reminds me of the "thank you" card project on Good where we try to write thank you cards for people in our lives.

    How has this been working out for you? Does anyone else have any other ideas to help spread love to people-even strangers?

    • Morgan Grace

      Yes. Everyone simply wants to be seen and heard. It's been amazing incorporating this as a routine in my life. I take similar routes every day, and it's pretty cool getting to learn the names of some of the amazing humans who post up shop on certain corners! I want to make sure they can always count on a sweet card if I swing by :)

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      I think if you see someone everyday on your way to work or at your favorite coffee shop, or maybe if you see a performer that makes you smile on the street, only then is it appropriate to reach out this way. One letter can of course be effective, but if there's no follow-through, where does it go from there? It's good to be cautious about these things, just as it's good to be cautious about the way you contribute to a cause. Long-term impact only happens when you see it through. Granted, street art with positive messages and orgs like moreloveletters.com do this well, but that's because they're preserving what they put out in the world so many people can see it and get inspired.

      • Hannah Kim

        Great insight! I definitely agree that follow-through is vitally important! However I think taking the time to think about those around us and initiate a nice gesture (even if it's just a simple note) can help catalyze more action and awareness for their plights. Also, brightening someone's day is so valuable even if it's short term- and when it comes to so little cost to yourself (like impromptu letters) then I think we should seize every opportunity to it.
        Definitely agree with you - I think we always have to be striving toward a balance of not limiting our actions because there's no long-term benefit, but also not just randomly doing things without any idea of follow-through.

        • Morgan Grace

          Amen sister! The "benefits" we receive as the "givers" consist of the conversations we are having right now: mutual empathy and gusto to push things forward in our world. Isn't it amazing that through GOOD, one giver can multiply to many and we can have that common foundational experience together? Love it!

      • Hannah Kim

        Great insight! I definitely agree that follow-through is vitally important! However I think taking the time to think about those around us and initiate a nice gesture (even if it's just a simple note) can help catalyze more action and awareness for their plights. Also, brightening someone's day is so valuable even if it's short term- and when it comes to so little cost to yourself (like impromptu letters) then I think we should seize every opportunity to it.
        Definitely agree with you - I think we always have to be striving toward a balance of not limiting our actions because there's no long-term benefit, but also not just randomly doing things without any idea of follow-through.

      • Morgan Grace

        Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. One letter can make a day; multiple follow throughs can make someone feel their own true worth.

        • Alessandra Rizzotti

          Also maybe we should consider writing a letter a day to ourselves too- not just a journal entry- but rather - a reflection of what we did that was good- and what we can do better?

          • Morgan Grace

            Have you heard of the "what went well" exercise? I learned about it through my psychology training. Every evening before you go to bed, write down three things that went well for you. The more you repeat the exercise, the more often you wake up in the adventurous search for things to write down later that day. There are studies that show this simple exercise has more powerful positive effects than some of the meds out there. I love the idea, Alessandra. Thanks for all your amazing input!

            • Alessandra Rizzotti

              That sounds like a wonderful exercise. I'm so excited to try it. Morgan- you totally rocked this post. So exciting to see our community engaged.

              • Morgan Grace

                Totally. I hope to do this for many more in the future! Thank you!