It was the best surprise when I received a handwritten letter from a friend exactly five weeks ago today. I recall the date because it was Pancake Day and the envelope had the Royal Mail stamp commemorating the special occasion. I remember how instantly excited I felt when I saw the letter amongst the usual post of advertisements and bills. I tore it open, sat in the stairs and devoured every word. I’m sure I’ve read it a hundred times over since then.
I wanted to share that glorious feeling of receiving something special in the post with someone. I discovered Post Pals today. Post Pals was set up in 2002 by unwell teenagers who found that receiving cards in the post was the only thing that made them smile when they were feeling isolated due to their illnesses. The charity supports seriously ill children aged 3-17 in the UK and their siblings by providing a service where one can offer support and friendship through cards, letters and small gifts by selecting a child on their Pal list.
The story of each Pal is deeply heartwarming. The family members share their experiences of the initial diagnosis, the adjustment period and the ongoing challenges of managing the illness. The most beautiful part for me is the theme that – throughout all their hard times – the children are happy, bursting full of hobbies and joyfully hopeful for the future. The feeling I have to offer some assistance in keeping these children smiling is powerful.
I have donated £10 to support Post Pals in their initiatives of sending newsletters to the children and comfort packages to their families. I have also organised for small gifts to be sent to two of the children. I know I won’t get the chance to see their reactions when they receive their gifts but it’s okay. I’m just happy knowing the gifts will brighten up their day and have a lasting impact just as my special letter will always have for me.