By WECT Staff | June 1, 2021 at 5:24 PM EDT – Updated June 2 at 8:53 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The Harrelson Center and New Hanover Resiliency Task Force want to inspire local youth to connect through a summer letter writing program delivered via orange mailboxes located at places hosting summer youth programs.
The color orange was chosen because it symbolizes joy, harmony, freedom, confidence, and enthusiasm, characteristics every child should experience.
The Orange Mailbox Project is an initiative intended to inspire local youth to explore diverse connections and maybe form friendships, while expressing their personal resilience through creative writing.
“In the fall of 2020 when we were realizing through this pandemic the concern for our youth, and the isolation and effect it was causing, and so we all came together, understanding that this was a pressing issue — what can we do to create a safe space, where our kids can connect, build diverse relationships, possible friendships?” said Harrelson Center’s Community Outreach Coordinator Christy Aley. “And so the orange mailbox was created.”
The mailbox program is a three-month project; letters will be exchanged once a month, with the first exchange on June 15th. Different templates and prompts will be provided for middle and high school grades.
Program leaders will help guide youths to share thoughts and ideas.
The completed postcards will be delivered in a way that will encourage diverse connections and there will be opportunities for youth to meet in person or by Zoom at the end of the project if participants are inclined.
“We are eager to help our local youth make connections that might not otherwise be made with our Orange Mailbox Project,” said Aley.
The Orange Mailboxes will be located at the following locations:
- The Harrelson Center
- St. Andrews Covenant Presbyterian
- St. Andrews AME
- Warner Temple AME
- Wrightsville Beach Methodist Church
- Boys and Girls Brigade
- First Presbyterian Church
More locations are expected to be added weekly.
If your middle school or high school student is not involved in any youth summer programs, they can still participate using the mailbox located at The Harrelson Center.
The Harrelson Center and NHC Resiliency Task Force want to execute this project each quarter, hoping to add elementary-aged students to the project next quarter.
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