I posted on Facebook, and sent emails to friends and neighbors, announcing that I would be at my house writing postcards to elected officials on Fridays, from 2 to 3 p.m. I didn’t know how it would go, and certainly never thought about this as a long-term project. I was heartened that 4 or 5 or 8 women showed up every time during the first few months. Those early members invited others, and the group grew. Now, members take turns hosting in their homes, and we communicate through our Facebook group; we have become an ongoing venture.
What we do is quite simple. We share issues of greatest concern to us each week, and then write postcards to our elected officials, committee chairs or committee members. We have learned that postcard messages are a simple, attention-grabbing means of registering our support or opposition to stances and measures taken by officials. Over tea and snacks we sit for an hour and write exhortative messages about subjects such as immigration, gun control, environmental protection, judicial appointments, and criminal justice. We also write to express admiration and appreciation for those who have taken courageous positions.
We recently celebrated our first anniversary—we had an open house at our neighborhood coffee shop, and offered guidance so that guests could write postcards on the spot about environmental issues, immigration, or gun control. We raised money for Turn PA Blue, that mobilizes support for Democratic candidates in “flippable” districts. We heard from Helen Tai, a candidate for State Representative in Bucks County. And, we expressed our gratitude for the gift of working together.
Events of the past year have frequently been frightening and discouraging. Nevertheless, WE persist. When we are together, #PersistentPostcarders learn more about the threats to our American values, and we do what we can to address them. We get to know our neighbors, many of whom like me are “beyond midlife.” And, as we do, we find that we are cheered by the fact of acting together. We are not alone.
We are one tiny drop of water in a sea of organizing, activism and resistance.
Rabbi Dayle Friedman is a chaplain, and spiritual guide dedicated to bringing meaning, connection and solace to the second half of life. Her Philadelphia-based, national practice is Growing Older, www.growingolder.net. Her most recent book is Jewish Wisdom for Growing Older: Finding Your Grit and Grace Beyond Midlife (Jewish Lights, 2015).