Ellis Roberts-Wright knows the power of a letter. Years ago they were bed ridden due to a condition, unable to move or hold a conversation. Their friends, in a bid of support and to stay in touch, began to write them letters, knowing that Wright couldn’t write back. Wright appreciated the thoughtful gesture and now, employs it every year to spread love around the holidays.
This year, Wright sent over 8,000 holiday messages to LGBTQ+ people through their campaign, the Rainbow Cards Project, according to a tweet.
“This year I sent 8,000+ cards to LGBTQ+ people with unsupportive families to make them feel less alone at Christmas,” they tweeted on Thursday. This is the 21-year-old’s third year doing the project.
“When I came out as bisexual I was overwhelmed by how supportive my parents were and it made me think about the people who aren’t supported,” Wright told Devon Live of starting the effort. Last year, they sent a reported 4,000 cards to people in 35 countries. While a majority of the recipients were American, some notes were also sent to people in countries where it is illegal to be gay.
“I think the youngest person I’ve sent a card to was 13,” Ellis said. “Fifty is the oldest.” The recipients have in turn written emails or cards back, thanking Wright for the effort.
“For trans recipients it’s quite a big thing,” Wright said. “A lot of them don’t have people in their life who call them by their own name, or address them by the right pronoun.”
Wright doesn’t write all of the letters themselves any more. People can sign up to receive or write a letter on the website therainbowcardsproject.org. There, Wright processes the requests and handles placing the address on incoming cards.
And though this year has been a success, they are already looking forward.
“I want to do it again in 2020, but postage costs are high and if I can’t raise the funds I won’t be able to,” they wrote to Twitter. They have started a GoFundMe to assist with the effort.