Every year, I process upwards of 2800 pieces of mail.
The bulk of it comes to us between November and January, also known as ‘the giving season.’ This season, we received over 2000 pieces of mail, all hand-opened, noted, and logged by yours truly.
We get a lot of different notes with our mail, some nice, some not so nice. That’s just life, I suppose. But the ones that always make me pause are the “I’m sorry”s. “I’m sorry I can only give this much.” “I’m sorry for giving so little.” They get me every time.
I wish I could tell them: I’m not sorry. I am never sorry that someone took time out of their day and $5 out of their checkbook for something they believe in.
This year, we received so much mail that I made the decision to work through the holiday to get it processed in time. We received so much mail, I was able to construct models of both Stonehenge and the Parthenon when I needed something to laugh about.
As I opened each envelope, every single one from a different human being, it got me thinking of how there’s space in movements for everyone. It got me thinking about the different ways we can express collective action. It got me thinking about how, when I hold each bundle of mail, I am physically holding people’s time and support and well-wishes, and it never fails to make me emotional.
So to everyone who said sorry, or felt ashamed for not doing enough: Thank you. Thank you for your gift. Thank you for your time. Thank you for the reminder that we are never in the struggle alone.
Sam Yoon is the Administrative and Executive Assistant at Grassroots International.