“We’ve just experienced another year plagued by tragedy, discrimination, and hate…but the power of gratitude and kindness can help combat our cultural turbulence.”
– Carew Papritz
The creation of The World’s Largest Thank You Letter took place last year at Continental Elementary-Middle School-Green Valley, Arizona in honor of “National Thank You Letter Day.” This year to further engage kids, Carew and the students will be creating the World’s Largest Envelope to travel across the country!
Social activist and award-winning author, Carew Papritz, created the letter and the day 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.
Gratitude is a powerful tool for increasing well-being in all sorts of settings. Gratitude costs absolutely nothing to practice and anyone can easily be grateful for their lives. 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.
“We’ve just experienced another year plagued by tragedy, discrimination, and hate…but the power of gratitude and kindness can help combat our cultural turbulence…”
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 to 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.