In a world where email prevails, a handwritten letter conveys so much more. It’s not virtual, it’s real. It’s something you can hold, material proof that someone was thinking of you, that someone cared enough to take pen, pencil or even crayon to paper just to let you know that you matter, that you are not forgotten, that someone cares about you.
This is why children across America have been writing letters to children in refugee camps in the Middle East and Europe.
The letters get to the refugee children inside of child-size backpacks put together and distributed by Operation Refugee Child. Each backpack is filled with essentials that a child fleeing war or persecution needs like diapers, socks and something to eat, but the backpacks also include something to help each child that receives one feel like a child. There might be a toy, a doll or stickers.
And then there are the letters.
Beautiful handwritten letters full of love and hope, from one child to another.
“Letters mean a lot. They think, ‘Oh people actually care about us. We’re not forgotten,’” Gader Ibrahim, a Southern California mom and the founder of Operation Refugee Child, told Today. “It’s so sweet, I love it.” Ibrahim knows that refugees treasure the letters because when she travels to distribute aid to refugee camps, she sees the letters displayed on tent walls even though some of the refugees can't read English.
Letters that let children going through horrors know that they are not forgotten.
Letters that prove that no matter what political rhetoric is being spewed, humans will always care about other humans.
Letters that say so much more than the words that are written in them.
Not all the letters are from children. The letter below was written by someone who knows what it's like to be a child living through war and terror.
If you or your children would like to send letters to be included in the Operation Refugee Child backpacks, you can mail them to: Operation Refugee Child, 23986 Aliso Creek Rd. Ste. #126, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677