Tag Archives: letter-writing

Day 280: Anonymous letter left in New York’s Penn Station

Don Pepi's Pizzeria at Penn Station.

Don Pepi’s Pizzeria at Penn Station.

Today’s letter was scrawled quickly as I rushed to write it on the back of my laptop before I hopped on my train back to Washington. My quick draft didn’t come out as elegantly as I had hoped. I left it on the counter at Don Pepi’s Pizzeria at Penn Station.

I grew up watching the New York Mets on WWOR, I was a huge fan in the early 80s and was rewarded with a miraculous World Series victory in the fall of 1986. I could tell you any statistic about Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Mookie Wilson or Gary Carter (RIP my friend!).

Times have changed and so has my location. Living in our nation’s capital, I’ve become a strong fan of the Washington Nationals. In fact, I haven’t missed an opening day game since they moved the franchise to DC in 2005. This year didn’t end up the way we had hoped, but my old team, the New York Metropolitans are still in the race. So, here’s to them, LET’S GO METS!

Day 280

I tried to stamp the glove blue in honor of the Mets, but I may have used purple ink. I can’t tell. #BeingColorblind

Dear New Yorker,

I grew up a Mets fan – then moved to Washington, DC and became a Nationals fan. We lost this year to the Mets – their World Series Dreams are still alive. I wish them lots of luck in the playoffs!

Reed Sandridge
Washington, DC


Day 275: Brian from McClellan’s Retreat

Last night was the celebration of the twelfth anniversary of the founding of Street Sense, a nonprofit that I support. Street Sense is one of the most innovative organizations in helping men and women experiencing homelessness get training and find employment in the area of media and the arts.

The evening was spectacular, but it would not have been possible without the support of several organizations. I went to establishments that I regularly frequent and asked them if they would support this event. It was touching how generous the organizations were. Brian is the manager at one of DC’s best cocktail bars which happens to be just a stone’s throw away from my door step. McClellan’s Retreat donated a really cool package for four people to learn how to make three quintessential cocktails – and they get to drink them too!

Thanks to Brian and the entire team at McClellan’s Retreat!

Day 275


I wanted to send you a proper thank-you for your generous contribution to the Street Sense gala – it was an inspiring evening! It’s incredible how those experiencing homelessness can regain their lives, get back into housing, contribute to society, etc. when given the proper support and encouragement.

This is our biggest fundraiser and I appreciate you and McClellan’s Retreat helping to make it a success!


Day 240: Jay Korff

jay korffJay Korff of WJLA ABC-7 is one of the finest journalists in the business. I first met him while he was reporting on my Year of Giving project – you can watch his Emmy Award winning report here. He and videographer Mark Bautista won several other awards for their work on this story, including an Edward R. Murrow Award.

Anyway, not only is he a talented journalist, he’s a great guy and I wanted to let him know that his professionalism and kindness don’t go unnoticed.


Day 240

Dear Jay,

I know I’ve told you before, but sometimes it’s nice to take time and share one’s thoughts on paper. You’re a master storyteller and you put everything you’ve got into your stories. Even five years later, I’m still touched by the beautiful story you did on the Year of Giving. We’re very fortunate to have someone here in Washington with your dedication and professionalism to journalism. On top of the busy schedule you keep, I’m amazed that you find time to compete, and WIN, so many bike races. You are truly an inspiration.

Your fan and friend,

P.S. Please send my regards to Rosalyn and your kids – I enjoyed volunteering with them back in 2011.

Day 239: Jo Ann

Day 239-2My friend Danielle’s mother suffered a terrible fall earlier this summer and was hospitalized until the insurance company stopped paying for her stay. I’ve heard Danielle talk about her mother several times over the years and know that she is a beloved dance instructor in Frederick, MD.

She’s improving, but it’s a very slow process and she still hasn’t regained use of the right side of her body. I thought a letter might brighten her day.

Jo Ann requires 24/7 care right now which is not being paid by insurance and a fundraising page has been set up to assist with expenses. If you would like to help, I know Jo Ann and her husband Bill would be very appreciative.

Day 239

Dear Jo Ann,

I’m friends with Danielle – we used to work together at the American Heart Association. I am so sorry to hear about your fall. Danielle has been sharing your progress – I know it takes a long time, but hopefully it helps to know so many friends and family are thinking about you.

Stay strong,

P.S. I love the Take Them a Meal app. If I lived closer, I’d make you something. Instead I made a small donation to your recovery fund.

Day 238: Dr. Donald R. Pettit

Dr. Donald R. Pettit, photo: NASA

Dr. Donald R. Pettit, photo: NASA

Today’s recipient is really cool. He likes to travel – really far away at an incredibly fast speed. He’s an astronaut. Dr. Donald Pettit has made three space voyages, the most recent in 2012.

While whirling around the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour, Pettit took a moment to figure out what his mailing address would be. He was aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in Low Earth Orbit with an orbital inclination of 51.6 degrees (that’s apparently the angle of the ISS’s orbit plane in relation to the equator.) All this is happening at some 250 miles above Earth. Anyway, according to Pettit, his address would have been Node 2, Deck 5, ISS, LEO 51.603.

He explains that his zip code would be 51.603, the first three digits representing the orbital inclination and the last two digits identifying the ISS – as it is the third such space station at this orbital location. The first two were Salyut and Mir. The small bay where he sleeps is Node 2 which is located on Deck 5.

I thought this was pretty cool and decided to drop Pettit a handwritten letter in the mail. I also thought to ask him about possibly sending an actual letter to the space station. Wouldn’t that be amazing – and if they wrote me back they can finally use one of those spiffy Fisher pens that actually write in space!

I know what you’re thinking though, the postage to space has got to be astronomical!

Day 238

Dr. Pettit,

I hope my letter finds you and your family well. I’m writing to you as part of a yearlong project I am doing to write a handwritten letter every day this year. You’re day 238.

photo: esa.int

photo: esa.int

I very much appreciate that you devised a postal nomenclature for your address while you were on your third mission back in 2012. I’m curious, does someone currently reside at Node 2, Deck 5, ISS, LEO 51.603? If not, what would be the appropriate address to send a letter to one of the astronauts currently living aboard the ISS – and would a letter even get delivered? I can imagine that the Progress resupply vehicles have strict weight restrictions, not to mention that food and supplies are certainly more important than my letter. But it would be really cool to send a letter to the ISS – and even more amazing to receive a response written with one of those fancy pens! Any chance you could help make this wish come true? It would be in good company – I’ve received responses from presidents Bush (43) and Carter.

Day 238-2

With deep respect for you and your contributions to our space exploration and admiration for the view of our world that you gazed upon while in space.

A fellow Eagle Scout,
Reed Sandridge