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Handwritten hope

Charity sends cancer patients letters of encouragement

Woman smiles with cards
Gina Mulligan is founder of Girls Love Mail, a charity organization that sends handwritten letters and cards to women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Author Gina Mulligan knows firsthand the comforting power of a handwritten letter.

Several years ago, Mulligan was working on a novel, “Remember the Ladies,” when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Friends, family and others sent her more than 200 cards and letters of support as she underwent treatment. Each letter and card gave her strength.

“I could set them up on my table and re-read them after treatment,” Mulligan said. “What surprised me was how comforting it was to get letters from strangers, who took time to tell me they cared and I wasn’t alone.”

She wondered if similar support would help other breast cancer patients.

In 2011, Mulligan founded Girls Love Mail, a charity that works with 156 cancer treatment centers to send handwritten letters and cards of encouragement to women diagnosed with breast cancer.

The organization has sent more than 90,000 letters and cards since its inception.

“A handwritten letter has more personality than an email,” said Mulligan, who estimates the group receives and delivers 23,000 letters a year.

The charity couldn’t send hope to cancer patients without USPS, Mulligan added.

“We love our letter carriers. They help us every day,” she said.

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