If you’re reading this, you’re probably as disgusted and horrified by what is happening at the U.S. southern border as I am. I decided to organize a postcard writing event locally, in the hopes of bombarding our legislators with demands that they DO SOMETHING about this atrocity.
A few friends that aren’t local to me mentioned wanting to do the same, so I decided to put together a quick reference guide for hosting your own postcard party. I hope this resource is helpful for you, but if you have any questions, feel free to email me at crystal at feministbooksforkids dot com.
There is some upfront cost to this project – I’d plan on spending around $50. As you’ll see below, I asked folks to donate a dollar toward supplies if they could, but to save the bulk of their donation funds for organizations working directly with asylum-seekers. Lots of folks gave a dollar; a few gave more. Thus far, my expenses have been recouped, though I wouldn’t really care if they weren’t. If the out-of-pocket expense too much for you to take on, consider teaming up with a friend or asking folks to sponsor postcard printing or a book of stamps.
Step 1: Choose a date and location for your event
I chose my local public library branch, and planned on being there for a two-hour block of time on a Saturday morning. You can choose a public place and invite the community, or you can host at your home and invite friends and family.
Step 2: Design and print your postcards
I designed this postcard on Canva.com and had it printed directly from Canva. The cost for 50 postcards was $18. Feel free to grab the image and use it to have your own cards printed. Here’s my referral link for Vistaprint if you’re looking for an affordable option. If you use my link, I’ll get a $20 credit…which I’ll use to have more postcards printed!
Step 3: Invite friends!
I promoted my Postcard Party via a Facebook event. Here’s what I said:
Come write a postcard or 12 to your representatives letting them know that the treatment of asylum-seekers in border detention is inhumane and unacceptable. Bring a friend!
$1 donations to cover the cost of postcards and stamps are appreciated. https://www.paypal.me/CrystalPaschal
Beyond that, make a donation if you can to organizations fighting this evil, such as Lawyers for Good Government or the Asylum Seekers Advocacy Project.
If you can’t make it, I’m happy to write postcards on your behalf. All I ask is that your throw in a dollar to help cover printing and postage.
Then I invited, shared, and generally became a big pain in the ass, all in the name of getting people to come.
Step 4: The big day!
When party time arrives, here’s what you’ll want to bring along:
- your postcards
- addresses of senators and representatives
- writing prompts
- (if possible) a way to register people to vote
Then you can head to your location and get ready to write some postcards! Some people might not know exactly what to say, so I recommend having some sort of prompt they can follow. Here’s what I used:
I am incredibly concerned about the separation of families and the care of children at U.S. border detention facilities. As your constituent, I demand that you hold hearings, exercise oversight, and use the power of your office to draw attention to the awful conditions in these camps. Please do not allow these children to continue to suffer. You have the power to fix this.
I would guess that anyone coming to an event like this is probably registered to vote, but…you never know. So if your state allows online registration, bring your laptop along and encourage folks to register.
Step 5: Mail those postcards!
It’s simple but important: mailing those postcards out to your legislators matters! You can mail them all at once, or in batches. If you end up with a lot of postcards, consider scheduling a visit to your legislator’s local office to deliver the postcards in person – you probably won’t get to speak to your lawmaker directly, but a staff member will take your postcards and hear your concerns.
At our first event, I had 50 postcards — and I ran out in 25 minutes! I had to turn people away, which was sad, but what a great problem to have. I am already planning my next post card party, and will continue to do so for as long as people want to send them.
Any questions? Let me know! Happy postcarding!