Five survivors of tragedy pen holiday letter campaign #lettersofpeace.

The Drum – November 2, 2016

By Haley Velasco

Paper and Packaging has created the How Life Unfolds campaign, which brings together five tragedy survivors to share their messages of peace during the holidays.

The handwritten messages detail the survivors’ personal stories, their tragedies, how they found peace and how they spread peace today. The project was created to inspire those to pause, read them and write their own using #lettersofpeace.

“The Paper and Packaging – How Life Unfolds campaign recognizes the ways letter writing can bring people together during the holidays,” said Mary Anne Hansan, Paper and Packaging Board executive director, in a statement. “These survivors choose peace every day and choose to see the world in a positive light. We hope their handwritten letters can inspire others to do the same. This program provides a platform for people to share their own messages on social media using #lettersofpeace.”

The five survivors include:

  • Patrick Downes, Boston bombing survivor and trauma care advocate
  • Asia Graves, human trafficking survivor and anti-trafficking advocate
  • Cliff Molak, raising awareness of cyberbullying after his brother’s tragic suicide
  • Heather Egeland, Columbine survivor and advocate for peace
  • Jodee Blanco, bullying victim and author/activist

The How Life Unfolds campaign also brings experts to explore how paper-related activities have on peoples’ physical and mental well-being.

“Paper is taking on new significance as a means of helping people feel better by allowing them to express their feelings through writing and art,” states Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH, president and founder of the Foundation for Art & Healing and faculty member at the Harvard Medical School, in a statement. “A key benefit of expression on paper includes connecting with people in meaningful ways. Expression through the written word can build trust and bonds with others in unthreatening ways that help develop tools for living happier, more stable lives.”