(ABC4 NEWS – SALT LAKE CITY, UT) The power of the pen is real. In this Utah Caring Stories I got to meet with a group making a difference, one letter at a time.
Jenni Dressel is a member of the Utah Letter Writing Club. She got emotional as she told me; “I started writing letters because my son went into the Navy. And I couldn’t talk to him on the phone. I missed him so much. The only way to communicate with him was to write him.”
Word matter. Especially to member like Kamea Johnson, the found of the Utah Letter Writing Club. “We are a group of letter writers and we write letters of hope, love and encouragement to the world.”
Sometime their message may be anonymous with a program they call ‘Random Acts of Mail Kindness;’ “There are quotes on these and they are meant to uplift people. They are random. I’m not writing someone in particular. I’m laying them out for someone to find them.”
Other times, for people like Amy Fiesthamel, their letters are intensely personal; “My grandma lived until she was almost 97 years old. She had Alzheimer’s. I started mailing her every couple week just because I knew she would sit down and read and remember some things before she forgot again.”
What is the common thread for this club? Kamea said; “Our theme is we believe in the power of the pen.” I teased her and asked about pencils. She replied with a big smile; “Sometimes pencils, but our words can be erased though.”
I asked Amber Tolbert what the difference between writing on a piece of paper and typing on your computer was. She explained; “I think typing is nice and it’s lovely, but I think you tend to think a little bit more when you are writing. Especially when you use a pen.”
It was nice to see that letter writing does not have age boundaries, Kamea’s eldest daughter, Peyton explained the difference between writing and texting; “With writing you pour a lot more than what is in text.”
Jenni’s son is serving in the U.S. Navy. What is her dream for men and women serving in the military? The room got quiet as she said through tears; “To go to the mailroom and get your name called and know that someone is thinking about you.”
With that encouragement, I had the honor of being a member of the club and hand wrote a letter to her son. I encourage anyone else out their watching or reading this story to take time to put pen (or pencil) to paper and write a letter.
These stories deserve to be told. These are Utah Caring Stories. I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.