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Ten Letter Ideas that Can Change Someone's Life (Maybe Even Your Own)

Want to get into letter writing, but not sure who to write that will make a difference? American Stationery offers ten letters that can, literally, change someone's life. Such is the joy and power of the letter.

  1. Write a letter to a soldier in Iraq. Want to do your patriotic duty and play an exciting part in history? Sites like Soldier's Angels set you up with a military pen pal for one of our men and women overseas. If you want to do something to support our troops that's truly creative and unique, sign up for this service.

  2. Write a Letter to the Editor. If you have ever read a newspaper article that really made you react in a passionate way, don't keep it to yourself! Write a letter expressing how you feel and it could very well end up in your local paper. It's easy to find the contact information for your local editor on most newspaper websites. For most Letters to the Editor, requirements include:

    • Your Full Name (no initials)
    • Home Address
    • Daytime or Evening Telephone Number (for verification)
  3. Write a letter to a relative you never knew. Whether it's a birth mother you never met or an illustrious great grandfather whose hijinks are still the subject of holiday dinner discussions, write a letter expressing your feelings to that person, what you wish you could ask them, what you wish you could tell them, how you find yourself similar or different from them. It's surprisingly cathartic.

  4. Write a letter to a teacher who changed your life. Whether it was your fourth grade teacher who made you read all the Newberrys or your college art professor who introduced you to Goya, chances are there is that one teacher who really made an impact on your life. Why not let them know? Contact their school for contact information or look here.

  5. Write a "random act of kindness" thank you note. You send thank you notes for gifts and events, but why not write a thank you note to the co-worker who always cleans out the coffee pot, or the neighbor who always returns your dog when it gets out. One random of act of kindness deserves another, and a thank-you letter is just that!

  6. Write a letter of recommendation. There's always someone in every organization that is awesome and underrated. Whether it's a student at your church who's applying for college or the person in the cubicle next to you who always stays late without complaining, don't just keep your admiration to yourself. Whip up a letter saying how great they are doing and pass it along to the relevant leadership.

  7. Write a letter to your personal hero. Whether it's your dad, your favorite baseball player, or someone from history, write a letter outlining what you admire about them. You can send it to their fan club, home address, or just pin it to your wall to remind you of the sort of person you want to become someday.

  8. Write a letter to your body. This idea was on BlogHer and we think it's a very interesting idea. With all the focus on body image in the media, this is a great chance to write an open letter to your body, thanking it for all it has done for you and detailing what you like about your physical self. View a few samples here.

  9. Write a love letter.To your spouse, your dog, you favorite shoes. Everyone has love in their life! Put those warm fuzzy feelings on paper, and you will be surprised how lucky and grateful you will feel afterwards-even if your dog can't read your handwriting.

  10. Write a letter to your future self. Feeling ambiguous about the future? Sit down and write a letter to your future self: five, ten, or fifteen years from now. Write out what you plan to accomplish by then, what sort of person you hope to be, and describe where you are at now. Save it and open it at the specified date. Such a letter will provide you invaluable life perspective both now and then.

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