“Negative news fills the media and we each need to do our part to make a positive contribution to the world.”
– Carew Papritz
The Power of Gratitude and Kindness.
In a year plagued by tragedy, discrimination, and hate, the power of gratitude and kindness has the ability to combat cultural turbulence. These admirable characteristics are a powerful tool for increasing well-being in all sorts of settings.
Scientific studies even show that people who are more grateful and kind are happier, less depressed, less stressed and more satisfied with their lives and social relationships. There are all sorts of ways to practice gratitude, and it can be practiced in any setting of daily life, from home to school to work and so on.
Social activist and award-winning author, Carew Papritz, created “National Thank You Letter Day” on November 14th to teach children—and remind adults—about the timeless importance of saying thank you through handwritten letters. Not only does he want to inspire in children that “Thank You” letters are still important in our culture, but he is urging teachers and parents to pay gratitude forward in their daily lives.
The creation of The World’s Largest Thank You Letter took place last year at Continental Elementary-Middle School-Green Valley, Arizona and was inspired by “National Thank You Letter Day.” This year to further engage kids across the country, Papritz and the students created the World’s Largest Envelope & Stamp to accompany the letter and travel across the country!
“National Thank You Letter Day” Overview.
The letter is one large sheet of paper comprised of rolls of butcher paper taped together. The handwritten letters were painted in black paint. The thank you letter is addressed to the student’s mom, dad, and teachers and thanks them for everything that they do for the students. The letter is formatted like an actual letter with the date in the upper right-hand corner and begins with the salutation, “Dear Mom & Dad, and My Teachers.” The actual letter was written by students from the Continental Cursive Club. The day before the assembly, all 600+ children, teachers, and staff signed the letter below the “Sincerely,” at the bottom of the letter.
Carew likes to create “teachable moments” that will inspire kids for a lifetime. With this event, he created an opportunity for community togetherness that taught kids about the importance of kindness, manners, and civility in their daily lives. His previous efforts have included student handwritten letters attached to books gathered from schools in three states and then delivered by Carew to children at a school in Havana Cuba to celebrate the new relationship with Cuba and the United States. To help fellow students during Hurricane Harvey, students (with the guidance of Papritz) collected donations of clothes and other needed items and, attaching handwritten letters to the items, sent them to an elementary school in Houston that had been flooded.