rrrepeat : connecting stories

send it forward : when love finds your way

 by nícia cruz

i met m. because of her awesome project send it forward. she shares love and kindness around the world without asking anything back, other than, well, to send it forward and spread the kindness.

receiving one of her letters on the mailbox feels like christmas all over again. she puts so much effort on it and the result is just beautiful. so beautiful i actually took some days to unwrap everything; i didn’t want to ‘destroy’ her work.

be inspired by her words:

how “send it forward” began?

in the beginning, this project was a bit smaller. it started just with an idea: “send love and kindness forward”. there was a time in my life when I really needed to feel like i was giving to others something good in a simple way. my grandmother mostly (but my family) really inspired me to start something. i just had no idea what. cute images online? motivational writing? it didn’t seem like something i would keep for a large amount of time, so the truth is it never (ever!) crossed my mind to make this something people could find both on and offline, so bringing the project to the internet world really was a recent step. So i started to leave handmade/handwriten tickets, postcards, sticky notes. all of it containing a different saying, something warm, something funny, something nice, a good advice, a motivational quote… the options were close to infinite. but how can we reach a lot of different people? since snail mail and letters were part of me since i could ever remember, i thought it would be nice to give people the chance of asking to be part of it, asking for a surprise, a friend, a postcard with some good words. and from that moment on, the project “just” started. it was like instantaneously turning into what i was looking for. a nice “place” for people to meet and share kind, love and life’s moments throughout postcards and letters.

what were the first reactions to the project?

people were confused, actually. because before the internet, and the blog and the pen pal service, there was not a way of knowing what were those papers and why was i leaving those everywhere. some people asked me, others just stared. but at some point i knew i had to “explain” it was a good thing as if i was telling “stop thinking so much… take the ticket and be happy everyday!”.

what was the best story “send it forward” helped to create?

this is a trick question for me. i can’t choose one thing, one person, one something… nowadays the project is so many things… but i keep some singular personal stories. first one is really short: i received the most beautiful original printed photograph of a bird on a window. my address was written on the verse of the photograph and the stamped stated it came from philippines, thanking a message from my project and with a quote. until today i don’t know who sent it, but it is in one of my favorites on my living room wall. and i think that, from where the project is standing today, the best thing it helps create are definitely connections between people who are far apart. it’s beautiful that you might feel alone in your million people city, but find that kindred spirit living in the opposite point of the planet earth that is always willing to read your words, and give some love back. i’m talking about friendships, long-lasting relationships, even romance…; it’s always about the sharing experience.

do people feel inspired and re-send the challenges to other people?

it’s quite hard to know, because most of my challenge participants are people who were on the project for a long time, and before “all this” social media. but I guess they do, at least some. i often receive e-mails or such related to those. i once even got a “photography 7 day challenge” from a girl who really loved and felt blessed by my little tickets.

what was the major obstacle you need to face and how did you surpass it?

learning and understanding the internet. i am kind of a reserved person, but i love to meet people and to be in regular touch with those that make my project possible. well, guess i tend to think people are always truthful and genuine, but unfortunately, they’re not. and it really saddens me when i come across to people who don’t respect what this is and those who give their time, money and resources to make this happen. i don’t think i surpass it, because internet as the real world is always changing, but i definitely stopped giving benefit chances to those who only meant to receive.

what’s your next step?

now we’re all working on a travelling yearbook. it’s theme is “write a letter to the world” and it will travel throughout many countries and people along this present year of 2016. In the end it’ll be a collection of original individual letters to – literally– the world. {because i took so long in publishing this inner-view, the notebook is already travelling. speak with m. to know if you can still join!}
also, there’ll be a couple of events, as for example “send love forward” open event, not only for subscribers of my project; everyone will have a chance to surprise someone, somewhere around the globe.

how people can join you?

it’s really simple. all you need to do is visit our blog via www.senditforwardp.blogspot.pt, click on ‘JOIN the community’ and fill the form. make sure that your info is complete and correct, otherwise they won’t be suitable for our pen pal service. but, for those who might be caught in doubts, please contact via e-mail or find us on our (brand new) facebook via www.facebook.com/senditforwardp

how do you have time to share so much love around the world?

how do we have time to watch tv? how do we have time to be looking at the wall?
my idea is.. if you put together all the hours you spend only procrastinating, you loose years of your life in seconds. well i believe it’s ok to procrastinate, but you can do it while you do something else. this is one of the reasons why passion about what you do really matters, in the end.

what is the advice you give to others that want to follow a similar path?

just do it! if you have an idea, it is not possible until you’ve tried at least everything. just be committed, be serious about what you’re doing (especially if it is related to real people). be original and yourself, at all times and pursue that idea. but, if you’re only looking for a new experience and new people, but don’t know how feel free to join us.

why do you put so much effort to it? what do you receive back?

it’s not an effort when it’s something that makes it easier for you to breathe. it’s just what i like to do. i receive more than i could’ve ever asked, amazing people (+ beautiful things to keep memory). and every time someone tells me i did made their day better, well: mission accomplished!🙂

with love, m.

thank you m. for putting your heart, and time, on this project. you’re doing a great job in bringing some joy to the world. you can find m. on instagram, and her blog. if you enjoyed this inner-view, please share it with a friend!

didn’t join her yet? go!😉

do you like receiving nice things on your e-mail? what was the best surprise you got in there? tell your story in the comments!

be magic,

n.



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