A Million Notes from Dad

Notes from Dad

A Million Notes from Dad Campaign

Today, Dreifa Letterboxes announced a nationwide campaign, “A Million Notes from Dad,” to encourage fathers to leave a legacy for their children through the written word.

Speaking about the initiative, Dreifa Letterboxes Founder Joanna Campbell, Ph.D., said, “The relationship between a father and child is often distant and malnourished. The simple act of a handwritten note can go a long way in closing the gap and strengthening this bond. We hope that millions of children will receive notes from their fathers that will inspire them to write in return. If we don’t take necessary steps to preserve handwriting, we stand to lose not only our creativity, but also our history and legacy.”

View the multi-media release for more information:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dreifa-letterboxes-launches-national-note-writing-campaign-200227701.html

To order a letterbox for your dad, visit www.dreifaletterboxes.com/shop/

The Power of Standing Shoulder to Shoulder

2015 is a year we at Dreifa and our extended Dreifa family, those dads and moms who signed on to the MILLION NOTES FROM DAD and MILLION NOTES FROM MOM initiatives in 2014, will always remember: The first group of dads began writing their children on Father’s Dad 2014. Now, they have been writing their children 7 months, and the results are just beginning to come in. As one dad said, I’m closer to my son than I have every been.

Let’s back up. In 2006 Facebook and Twitter really took hold in our culture. Kids, specifically, were drawn into it -so much so that now, 8 years later, the most common complaint regarding millennials and kids is their inability to communicate effectively or have long term relationships. In response, employers are now including required writing samples as part of the application process, before an interview is requested. It is clear from just this that teaching our children how to communicate effectively and create healthy relationships is more important than ever. Through your participation in the MILLION NOTES FROM DAD and MILLION NOTES FROM MOM initiatives, you are providing a wonderfully safe space for your children to acquire these skills. It’s leading by example, it’s the golden rule in action.

We do well to remember that our children never outgrow their need of us. The nature of the need changes as they develop, but the need remains constant. Think of it this way, the need our children have for us is like a cup, and cups are the container for a lot of different things, but the cup does not change. Our children’s need for us is like that cup, only the content changes based on where they are in their lives. We also do well to remember that ongoing contact with our children preempts long gaps of unshared experience, often a precursor to flimsy relationships and feelings of distance. Note writing is one of the most powerful ways of staying relevant in our children’s lives. We continue to be an ongoing source of wisdom, insight and vision –their need for these never goes out of style and we and they always need more.

Note writing to your children via the MILLION NOTES FROM DAD and MILLION NOTES FROM MOM initiatives has begun generating shared experiences.   It is with this in mind that I want to underscore the value of standing shoulder to shoulder with other Dads and Moms as you sign on to the MILLION NOTES FROM DAD and MILLION NOTES FROM MOM initiatives instead of going it alone.

There is power in numbers. Our goal is that every Dad and every Mom will be present: Standing shoulder to shoulder with all other Dads and Moms, we are collectively creating a hedge of protection for our children. One Dad and one Mom alone cannot do this. Dads and Moms need other Moms and Dads who together lengthen the hedge and broaden the border of protection against low standards, wasted lives, poor performance, distance, and weak character.   We can give them a vision and help them fill in the content. We lead by example. There is power in numbers.

Children need a reason and permission to unplug – you Dad, you Mom provide that permission every time you write to your children. Receiving your note is the signal to unplug, it provides respite from the tyranny of social media and video games.   Your notes can stir their heart as you share your vision for their lives with them.   As they read your note, they are restoring your influence back into their lives -you cease to be irrelevant.

The hand written legacy you are giving your children transcends time, and can only be given by you. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Dads and Moms throughout the country is a mighty witness to your children that you will go the distance for them; that, while you may not always be able to do what they would like, you will always do your best for them; that while you may not always agree with their course of action, you will do your best to understand; that by confessing your wrong when done to them and asking forgiveness, you are showing that confession does not diminish but builds up and restores. You are earning the influence they are willing for you to have in their lives. Write on…

Simple things are often the most powerful

The tragic incident at Sandy Hook occurred in the winter of 2012. Since then, multiple incidents of school violence have confronted us in nearly every part of our nation. It has gone from our schools (with over 3,000,000 crimes committed at or near the 85,000 U.S. public school annually, and over 8,000 teachers physically attacked at school each month) to random acts of violence by our youth via the Knockout Game. The latest incidents of teen violence escalated with a movie theater riot in Florida at the end of December 2013, a mall riot in New York, and a near riot at Military Circle Mall in Norfolk, VA – that incident was, fortunately, shut down by police before it progressed into another mass act of violence. Those mass acts of chaos occurred with groups of 30-400 teenagers gathering and then perpetrating various levels of violence and discord in areas that heretofore have been viewed as safe, and impacted up to 600 people at a time. Events of this nature may be escalating, most assuredly they are telling us, their parents, friends and neighbors, something we need to hear. But, can we translate that behavior into a meaningful dialogue?

Simple things, often viewed as commonplace and ordinary, often prove to be extraordinary because they are used in uncommon ways. The Dreifa® note writing campaigns meet these criteria. We know from our own experience, statistics and research that children who have strong relationships with their parents are less likely to commit acts of violence, whether one of the parents lives in the home or not. Maybe, as we bend our hearts and minds to hear their story we can hear the cries of their hearts and respond in a way that they, too, can hear. I believe that way is through note writing – one of the more gracious means of communication, and, although “listening to parents” may become tiring, receiving a hand written can be positively invigorating and delightful. Every note is a gift to your child in which we can talk about things that may be difficult to discuss in person. Writing is not “in your face”, and, because it takes time, it contains more of  your own heart’s self-giving. Furthermore, you have the time to think about and determine how to say difficult things in a way that is not critical and oppressive but, rather, convicting and empowering, so that our children use better judgment, respect boundaries and do the right things.  Dreifa note cards are the perfect vehicles for this communication. They were designed to say things that matter: Dreifa® Take Note™

In addition, by providing your children our Dreifa Letterbox® the place for notes that matter™, you are providing them the place for the notes that you write to them, and note cards they can use to respond, in their own handwriting. You are accomplishing 4 mighty feats at once: (1) Your notes to them provide space for them to think and respond instead of react and click – as in texting, and other social media. (2) Their letterbox is the place for notes that matter, your legacy to them, to their children and to generations that are yet to come. Your notes to them are a resource to which they can return and reread; continue to be encouraged, receive direction and know you better with each re-read. (3) Your notes encourage literacy. We know that increasing literacy creates a context for fewer lawless acts. (4) You are giving them a safe emotional outlet so that they are less likely to commit violent acts. You have a mighty instrument in your hand when you hold your pen, wield it with love and truth.

Lighthouse Letterbox

 

Lighthouse Letterbox

After  a long dreary winter and chilly start to spring, I think I can say with confidence that most of us are longing for warmer days ahead! When I think of  summer, I image soft sand, bright sunshine and the waves lapping against the shore.

Interior of the Lighthouse Letterbox

Our lighthouse letterbox will instantly transport you to sunny days along the coast. Whether you store the letterbox on your bookshelf or display it on your coffee table, you will always be reminded of warmer days. Then when you open the letterbox to revisit your treasured notes and cards, your soul will be nourished with heartwarming memories. The lighthouse letterbox provides a beacon of hope for brighter days ahead!

View our entire collection of letterboxes and place your order today!

Until next time, spread the joy!

Joanna

 

 

 

Making a Difference: One Letterbox at a Time

Fleur de Lis Letterbox

Fleur de Lis Letterbox

Dreifa is pleased to partner with Mercy Medical Airlift (MMA) for a fundraising initiative. The month-long campaign is an all-out effort to fund an endowment to ensure that the vital services provided by MMA will not be interrupted by a budget shortfall.

MMA administers a variety of charitable transportation programs when specialized care is locally unavailable. These include Angel Flight, Air Compassion for Veterans, Air Compassion America and Angel Bus.

Throughout the month of March, MMA is asking 100,000 individuals to sponsor one long-distance angel trip with the simple purchase of three Dreifa Letterboxes. Each letterbox retails for $36.95. The estimated purchase price of $110 plus tax & shipping coupled with in-kind donations provides an extraordinary public benefit of $480.

It’s an honor to partner with Mercy Medical Mercy Airlift on this critical initiative. Just as Dreifa Letterboxes spread joy across time by providing the perfect place to store treasured notes and cards, MMA spreads mercy across time to vulnerable individuals in need of urgent medical transport. Together, we will fund an endowment that will provide vital services to patients who are otherwise unable to access the specialized medical care they so desperately need.

You can help us make a huge difference in thousands of lives, one letterbox at a time!

Read the press release for more details.

 

Until next time, spread the joy!

Joanna

 

 

 

Love Letters

Love letters

Photo Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/plasticbat/4641693023/

A handwritten note is perhaps the best way to convey your most intimate thoughts to your sweetheart. I am sure you have atleast one cherished note tucked away that brings a tear to your eye each time you revisit the sentimental markings on the page. When you take the time to handwrite a note with love to someone special, you are opening yourself up and sharing your very best.

I came across a website, www.lovingyou.com, that has compiled more than 800 love letters for your viewing pleasure.  Hopefully, this will inspire you to say I love you in a more meaningful way this Valentine’s Day!  Don’t forget to store your priceless treasures in a beautiful Dreifa letterbox, so your loved ones words are always an arm’s length away.

Until next time, spread the joy!

Joanna

History’s Hidden Treasures

Photo Courtesy: Archives of American Art

Photo Courtesy: Archives of American Art

Remember the days before e-cards or even Hallmark, when you actually had to create your own message and not rely on some clever ad agency or writer to convey your thoughts.

The simple pleasure of creating an intimate message with an artful stroke on a blank canvas of paper is one of life’s simple pleasures. Dreifa note cards feature beautiful photography and inspiring quotes on the front and back and are blank on the inside, so you can create a heartfelt message to someone dear.

In this week’s edition of History’s Hidden Treasures, we continue our theme of famous romantic love letters in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Here is a letter from American Artist Rockwell to his wife Frances in 1926, courtesy of www.lettersofnote.com.

Frances! I am so lonely I can hardly bear it. As one needs happiness so have I needed love; that is the deepest need of the human spirit. And as I love you utterly, so have you now become the whole world of my spirit. It is beside and beyond anything that you can ever do for me; it lies in what you are, dear love — to me so infinitely lovely that to be near you, to see you, hear you, is now the only happiness, the only life, I know. How long these hours are alone!

Yet is good for me to know the measure of my love and need, that I may at least be brought to so govern myself as never to lose the love and trust that you have given me.

Dear Frances, let us make and keep our love more beautiful than any love has ever been before.

Forever, dearest one.

Thy

Rockwell.

The Consequences of Cutting Cursive

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Can your child read the Declaration of Independence?
Courtesy: www.history.com

Imagine not being able to sign your name on the dotted line. Imagine not being able to read the Declaration of Independence.  Imagine not being able to read your grandmothers’ famous cookie recipe.  Imagine texting cold characters of sympathy for the passing of someone dear.

This will likely be the case for far too many of our children and grandchildren as our education system moves further away from teaching handwriting in lieu of teaching keyboard proficiency.

The Wall Street Journal featured a great article, “The New Script for Teaching Handwriting is No Script at All,” highlighting the issue this week.

Did you know that cursive curriculum is now optional for 45 states?SchoolCursive

This trend coupled with the disturbing literacy rates has me greatly concerned and is one of the main reasons I launched Dreifa.  As a Ph.D., mother and lifelong educator these trends are not only upsetting, they are downright appalling.  There are numerous studies that clearly illustrate that a child’s creativity and coordination greatly suffer when they don’t practice the tactile skill of handwriting.  Won’t you take the time today to teach a child this precious skill they will carry with them for the rest of their lives?

I want to encourage people to take the time to write a note of gratitude or a kind message of inspiration to someone special. When you take the time to share your thoughts in a meaningful way on our note cards, you are encouraging others to respond in the same manner.

When an email or text just won’t do, reach for a Dreifa note card to share your thoughts.  You can then store priceless treasured notes you’ve received in a beautiful Dreifa Letterbox. At Dreifa, we are pleased to donate 50% of our profits to our partner charities including literacy groups like Reading is Fundamental.

Until next time, spread the joy!

 

Joanna Campbell, Ph.D.

Founder, Dreifa

 

 

Literary Crisis in America

Graduation Pic

Stock Photo

The U.S. Department of Education released a report this month that highlights an increase in on time graduation rates for high school seniors.  This seems like something we should all applaud, but not so fast.  Did you know that one in four high school graduates read below the basic reading level and may not be able to read their diploma let alone compete in a higher education setting or obtain a good-paying job?

Many states are now calculating future prison bed needs on the reading proficiency of its 4th grade classes.  According to Reading is Fundamental, “nearly 40 percent of U.S. 4th graders do not achieve basic levels of reading proficiency. The number is higher among low-income families, certain minority groups, and English language learners. The tragedy is that these children may never fully participate in American society. Their employment prospects grow dim and the chance for anti-social behavior increases.”

Have you ever thought about the consequences of your child not being able to read or write?  Imagine your child not being able to read a letter that you sent or write a note back to you?

As the numbers clearly show, this is already happening for far too many children.  We are facing a national crisis that will determine our collective future. Together, we can make great strides to turn around this paralyzing trend.

Your help is needed. We begin by writing notes to our children, friends, professional associates -about anything- on a Dreifa notecard.  This in turn will encourage them to write to you.

Show that you value the notes and cards you’ve received by having a special place for them, a Dreifa letterbox, designed specifically for this purpose.

At Dreifa, we proudly support, promote and donate to literacy programs. Read our Giving Back page to learn more.

You can make a difference today!  Your purchase of a letterbox will not only support organizations like Reading is Fundamental, it will also provide the perfect canvas to create a thoughtful message with an artful stroke. A Dreifa letterbox truly is the perfect gift that keeps on giving.

Until next time, spread the joy!

Joanna 

History’s Hidden Treasures: Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo letter

A letter from Victor Hugo to his wife Adele
Photo Courtesy: Museum of the National Bank of Belgium

We continue our weekly journey into history’s hidden treasures with the words of famous French author and literary genius Victor Hugo.  Hugo is probably best known for his masterpiece, “Les Miserables,” but he was also known to pen beautiful and intimate letters to his wife Adele. Perhaps the letter below will inspire you to write a thoughtful note to your special someone this Valentine’s Day.

 To Adele Foucher

My dearest,
When two souls, which have sought each other for,
however long in the throng, have finally found each other …a union, fiery and pure as they themselves are… begins on earth and continues forever in heaven.

This union is love, true love, … a religion, which deifies the loved one, whose life comes from devotion and passion, and for which the greatest sacrifices are the sweetest delights.

This is the love which you inspire in me… Your soul is made to love with the purity and passion of angels; but perhaps it can only love another angel, in which case I must tremble with apprehension.

Yours forever,
Victor Hugo (1821)