Sunday, December 7, 2008

Winter, postcards, the blues and 'Something for nothing'

Something out of nothing, a free postcard? What's the deal, and who really cares about people they have never met. Sounds dodgy right? Well, I am sane (I have a certificate! .....well......No, I don't actually). I have a terminal illness and instead of doing hang gliding or jumping out of planes with a chute, I do this instead.
Caring is my addiction and it needs an outlet, postcards is good. Good for me, good for the person getting it.

The plain simple truth is this: We all know people who could use a postcard, or a visit. We have a relative we have been meaning to write, or a friend or co-worker who lost their job. We hear at church, we hear at work about a person being ill and having to stay at home. We hear from a friend they are lonely. We hear people are bored. There is no limit to the people who COULD receive a postcard.

Did you know that not even the QUEEN will send you a telegram anymore on your 100th birthday. Yet I will send you a postcard. Yup, free of charge and selected for just that person (you or someone else, if you send me the details, all of which are confidential). A postcard which is then stickered and rubber and wood stamped to as great an expression of “I care!” as I can make it. PLUS I will keep on sending postcards to that person, as long as I live. For free.

Just to let you know, winter sucks, particularly for people who have disabilities and chronic conditions. When it is cold outside, and icy, wheelchairs don’t go very well or at all. People are at risk for infections, and get laid up in bed. People want to know they are cared about. More than just an amusing photoshopped picture email. December and Xmas are the loneliest time of the year for many people, it also has the highest rate of suicides. More elderly die over the winter and people with disabilities than any other season. Highest rate of depression. We all know it, we all quote it every year. I cannot make a person have a great Xmas when they are alone and the rest of society is going off to events and parties. But I can send them a postcard, one tthat is made just for them, picked for them, covered with stickers they would like. Be that a postcard of Fairies or Ninjas; from goth and spiders to hot guys kissing each other (or girls kissing each other, whatever will make a person happy). Hey, we do couples postcards, family postcards, individual postcards, postcards of solitude, of ‘freedom’, postcards completely blue, or green, whatever you want, or need. You ask and I will try to get the RIGHT postcard to you or the person who needs it.

I have no church to go to, I have no family gathering to go to, no Xmas or Hanukah for me. And yet I will be making friends and building relationships all over the world. I can’t change being people feeling alone, but I can let you know that I think about you, and prove it with something you can hold in your hand. You don’t have to be 100 years old. You don’t have to be nominated for bravery or the order of Canada or for being dame or sir, or any other award. If you know of a person who could use a postcard, who would WANT a postcard, send me an email (it is right on my profile), just email me with the title Postcard to mpshiel at and a postcard WILL go out within a week (except in rare cases of medical emergencies). A few details of what the person or you likes helps too. Look, if you are bored, surfing the net or just curious, send me an email and you WILL get a postcard. You want a postcard, you like postcards, ask for a postcard and it will appear!

I know that people are busy at Xmas, and I know that people’s feeling of caring is up. GOOD! So send me an email for someone you are thinking about in need! Know why? Because people still like getting mail in January (see, I just keep posting to them!). You don’t have to be lonely, you don’t have to be disabled, or depressed, you can be the Dean of a University or the President of a Company (don't those people want some nice mail too?), all you have to do is want a postcard.

Every week the people I send postcards to are a SACRED trust to me. The ages may range from 3 to over 90 but I am like the postal service, once I took your postal request on board, come what may, I will be matching you to your postcard. Yes, I went to bed at 6:00 am this morning after finishing (Us Three Musketeers!) the stickers and other final parts of the postcards. Then I was up again a few hours later to write each one of them so every single one of the 40 postcards for this week went out.

Are you sick of winter? I will send you a scene of summer. Are you in Australia, New Zealand, Africa or other climates that are summery, I can send you scenes of winter, or cool rainforests. When Xmas is over, and the feeling of, “Oh my, I still have to go to work!”, or the feeling of , “When will spring come?” or “I’m bored!” hits you, and leaves you blue. My postcards will still be coming. So please, take the chance, ask for a postcard. A few hundred people have and so far, everyone seems pretty happy with the postcards. And if you don’t get yours, let me know and I will send another, okay. Give yourself or someone you care about a gift, the gift of Elizabeth McClung and her army of people from around the world who send presents of cool postcards, cool stickers, cool stamps (which I turn and give to those who request postcards). I am the gift that keeps on giving.

And yes, this is the place in the world where you really do get something for nothing; pass the word.