December Letters Project ~ 2022 Call For OWLS

It’s that time of year: December Letters Project preparation time!

We invite you and/or your families, clubs, organizations, schools, and communities to be part of MITA’s annual December Letters Project. This year, we are sending out our announcement early so that you will be able to join us in holding a December Letters Project card-drive in your local area or participating in ours!

If you are a teacher at a school or if you are part of an organization whose members care about social justice and about the treatment of people within mental healthcare systems, please consider being part of our project this year, either by writing cards with your group and dropping them off to your local mental health institution(s), by delivering your cards to us for our institutions, or by coming to our November meeting to make cards with us, if you are local to the western New York area! If you want to help but cannot make cards, you can also donate card-making materials– we just ask that they be secular in their design. This is a great project to do with middle school, high school, and college students.

MITA will be holding a local meeting on Tuesday, November 29th for card-making or for card drop-offs.

Last year, in 2021, we delivered over 400 heartfelt cards to our friends at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center and Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center. Local schools, churches, and organizations joined in the project to bring warmth, fellowship, and support to our friends in psychiatric hospitals. Other organizations, outside of our local area, have participated in the past, including organizations in Nova Scotia, Canada and across Australia! Last year, our friends at Hands Across Long Island, in New York, participated in the project through their Creative Connections Campaign.

Here are two of our December Letters OWLs, writing and delivering December Letters to our local institutions during the Winter Solstice in 2021:

Here are some of the cards we have delivered over the past four years of doing this project!

About the December Letters Project:

The December Letters Project is an annual feminist mental health literacy project aimed at alleviating the isolation, loneliness, and stigma that often accompany inpatient stays at mental health institutions. By flooding our local MH institutions with support and love for our friends within those institutions during the winter solstice, through cards and letters, our goal is to build a bridge between institution and community. Groups and organizations anywhere can participate in the December Letters Project by reaching out to local MH institutions to build a bridge and to gather and deliver cards during the winter solstice. Locally, we come together with other community organizations, classes, groups, and schools to deliver cards annually to our friends at two local institutions: the Buffalo Psychiatric Center and WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center.

We rely on generous owls (aka letter-delivering community members) to participate in the project by writing secular winter-themed cards with messages of hope for our friends at the psychiatric hospitals in our area during the winter solstice. If you would like to be part of the project and to write secular cards and notes, you either make cards with us or deliver cards to us at Spot Coffee on Hertel Avenue on Tuesday, November 29th or contact us to arrange a pick-up. The cards and notes cannot be sealed, and we ask that you write something from your heart and your pen. Artistic creations on cards are welcomed and encouraged. We have students at schools who will be working with us on cards this year, in our local area and outside of it, but we need your help to make sure we have enough cards for every person admitted to the institutions to receive one. Each year, there are hundreds of people in our community alone who find themselves in psychiatric hospitals during the winter solstice.

The project relies on each OWL to make a small batch of cards for the project. A little goes a long way, if we come together to help. We will gather cards for our friends until our December 18th deadline. We know these cards mean a lot, both symbolically and in the hearts of those who accept and receive them. If you are able, please be an owl this year as we work hard for another successful solstice wherein we inundate our local psych hospitals with love for those who are inside them!

MITA’s co-founders want to invite you to be part of our project and to consider holding the project in your area!

Learn more about the December Letters Project at:

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