Tag Archives: quotes

Day 300: Ronda

Another handmade card and envelope.

Another handmade card and envelope.

I made it to Day 300!!!

Today’s letter is to my cousin’s wife Ronda. She recently finished her PhD program focusing on the intersection of post-secondary education and first-generation Appalachian students. It’s an academic accomplishment that I don’t believe I could achieve. A few years ago I had the opportunity to meet one of the top environmental scientists in the country. Talking about his PhD work, I recall him saying, “If I knew how long and hard it was going to be, I would have never pursued it.”

Congratulations Ronda!

Day 300


“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
-M. K. Gandhi


Completing your doctoral degree is remarkable – it speaks to your dedication, commitment and curiosity for the unknown. Education, both formal and informal, is an important part of what makes life meaningful. We learn to be open-minded. We share what we learn with others and pass down our knowledge to future generations – it’s the soul of society.



Day 241: Anonymous letter left at Starbucks in Dupont

There’s a Starbucks at the corner of Connecticut and R in DC. It’s probably the closest Starbucks to my apartment. I go in there from time to time and today I thought I would leave an anonymous letter for somebody – perhaps brighten there day with a free cup of joe – well, it will probably end up being some fancy schmancy latte or something!

Day 241

“Coffee: A warm, delicious alternative to hating everybody every morning forever.” – Kim Bongiorner

Enjoy some coffee today on me – trust me, it will make your day better.


Day 218: Jon Stewart

Photo: AP Photo/Brad Barket

Photo: AP Photo/Brad Barket

My second letter this year to a long standing (ok, sitting) host of late night television. Thanks for the memories Jon – see you at the party on January 5th!

Day 218

You’ve been coming into our living rooms, ahem…bedrooms perhaps, for more than 15 years. More importantly you’ve been informing us and entertaining us – you’re like a therapist only better. Sure, you listen, you process information and become an active voice in the conversation, only you cut through the charades and bullshit and deliver the medicine we need with a soothing spoonful of humor that makes the insanity of the reality – or is it the reality of the insanity? – somehow easier to swallow.

Day 218-3I’m writing you as part of a year-long commitment that I’ve made of writing handwritten letters every day. It’s a lost art – or as your pal Steve Carell said (I wrote him on Day 7), “Sending a handwritten letter is becoming such an anomaly. It’s disappearing. My mom is the only one who still writes me letters. And there’s something visceral about opening a letter – I see her on the page. I see her in her handwriting.” He’s so right.

While everyone is grilling you about what you will do next, my wish is that whatever you do, you find time to be with those you love – maybe even write them a letter. Speaking of you writing letters, a response from you would be the pinnacle of my Year of Letters. Right now that honor goes to either my father or an inspiring 100 year-old doctor from California who wrote me back. I also received a response from George W. Bush.

Anyway, good luck and thanks.

With respect and admiration and a bit of a man crush,
Reed Sandridge 

Day 218-2P.S. A wiser man than me once said, “Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare commodity in this day and age. And let the chips fall where they may.” Well played, sir.

P.P.S. Mark your calendar for January 5th, 2016 – I’m throwing a party for all 365 people who have received a letter this year. More details at YearOfLetters.com or email me at reed@yearofletters.com. Your drinks are on me!

Day 206: Anonymous letter left at Penn Station, NYC

Day 206I left this one in the AMTRAK waiting area at NYC’s Penn Station. Right after I left it on the small desk where you can plug in your electronic devices, a man walked over to it. Perhaps he saw it and opened it.

Day 206-2

“Letter-writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.” – Lord Byron


I find it sad that we don’t write letters by hand anymore. While emails are efficient, they lack depth & personality. I’ve embarked on a year-long journey of writing a handwritten letter each day. Most are to people I know, but I thought it would be interesting to leave this one for you and see who finds it. You are Day 206.

Write someone a handwritten letter today!

Day 177: Dave

One of the reasons that so many people knew about my Year of Giving project was a beautifully told CNN story by David Banks. As I write my way through the Year of Letters, I remembered that Dave has sent me a note around the holidays every year since we’ve met. I thought it was time that I returned the handwritten kindness.

Day 177

Day 177-2Hey Dave,

It’s been five years since we’ve met and I think you’ve dropped me a holiday card each year – thanks! I know exactly how many I have sent you. ZERO. Sorry, I’m trying to be better at staying in touch. I wanted to say hello and wish you Patchaya and Tanjira a wonderful summer. I’m not sure how often you are downtown in DC, but let me know, it would be nice to catch up. People still mention the CNN story you did on the Year of Giving – you did a beautiful job telling that story!

Take care brother,

P.S. I saw your quote other day on FB from Albert Camus, “Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.” So true!