Only a few days to go until Secret Letters to Strangers officially kicks off - spearheaded by author Juliet Madison!!

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
Only a few days to go until Secret Letters to Strangers officially kicks off - spearheaded by author Juliet Madison!!
What would you do if you could take a few moments to make someone's day? How would it make you feel to put a few kind words on paper - knowing someone anonymous will pick up your note, read it and light up with the thought that someone thoughtful took the time to share a little sunshine?
I have decided that for the entire month of August...each of its 31 days, I am writing. One simple little note, on simply lovely stationery, just for the occasion. I plan to put the hand-written notes in Ziplock baggies to protect from the weather, and include little trinkets such as stickers, a few dollars, coupons. Just simple ways of showing some kindness and light in this corner of the world.
Then each day, I will take these notes and drop them off at various locations along my travels, and I'll hope that someone is lifted...that someone having a really bad day picks up the baggie and opens it up to read my inspirational message. I am committed to this project, and it will take a little time. But what fun it can be! And maybe, just maybe I'll find a little note myself that someone else left for a perfect stranger. A stranger in a world of strangers and neighbors...all trying to co-exist.
August 1 is also the release day of “The Secret Letters Project” book. Some people have already started writing and leaving letters to be found, and sharing their photos in the private FB group, so feel free to start when you're ready. Here are some "Dear Stranger" letter templates that you can use to get started.
Some tips for writing a letter:
Think of a tough day you’ve had and what would have made you feel better. What words, phrases, or positive sayings come to mind? Imagine the person receiving your letter is having a bad day, or perhaps they are having a good day, and when they receive your letter, they are going to feel even better.
Write about positive things you have learned in life, supportive words of encouragement, or a reminder that each and every person is special and a valuable part of life. You may even simply write something like “Dear Stranger, I hope you have an amazing day!” The letter can be as long or short as you wish. As you write, imagine the recipient with a big smile on their face as they read your words.
You may choose to leave it unsigned, write your first name, or write something like “from one stranger to another,” “from anonymous,” “from me,” or “from a friend.”
Example:
Dear Stranger,
You might be wondering what this is all about. Why would someone leave an anonymous letter for someone else to find? The reason is simple. There is a lot of negativity in the world, but I am choosing to spread joy and kindness. I would like to wish you an amazing day, and I hope all your dreams come true. Always believe in yourself, never give up, and keep smiling.
Love,
Your anonymous friend xo
...You could leave your letter along with a gift, or on its own. You could put it inside an envelope decorated with stickers, you could even include a blank printout of the template for the recipient to use to write their own.
Feel free to share your updates & photos on the event page or in the Facebook group. If you share anything about the project online, use the hashtag #secretlettersproject
And if you haven't yet joined the private FB group, you can do so here. The letter template is in the files section: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thesecretlettersproject/
I encourage you to participate. It truly can make a difference. We all matter, and kindness and genuine thoughtfulness can inspire us all to be a little gentler, a little more loving, a little more tolerant of the puddles of life.
Here is the link for the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/465815260431665/?ti=cl