Frequently Asked Questions

Q) Is my mailing address kept private? Do I have to sign my name?

A) Yes. When we receive your letter, it is removed from it’s original envelope, and placed in a new envelope with the Mt. Adams Institute as the return address. And no, the exchange is anonymous, and you can share as little or as much information about yourself as you like.

Q) I really want to participate, but I ...don't think I'm a very good writer ...have never written a letter ...don't know what I'd write about

A) First of all, these are all natural concerns, but we think you might be surprised if you give it a try. There can be a real catharsis in the act of writing, regardless your experience, age, or expertise. And we believe that the chance to connect with someone else in a meaningful way is as important now as it ever was. We’ve provided a handful of writing prompts that might help you get started, but most important of all, we suggest you just writing. Put pen to paper and share a bit of your story and life experience, because there’s someone out there in the Gorge who’s looking forward to reading your letter.

Q) Can kids participate?

A) YES! We encourage people of all ages to write a letter. Invite your class to participate, spread the word around your assisted living center, reach out to your Rotary club/coffee klatch/book group/co-workers – we all have stories to share. If your child is too young to write, consider having them draw a picture and adding a short letter of your own. Just make sure that if you’re under the age of 18 that you fill out a parental consent form (Click here to fill out consent form).

Q) Esta bien si escribo la letra en Espanol? Is it possible to write my letter in Spanish?

A) Si! (*need translation) Yes, we are partnering with native Spanish speakers who provide translation services. Letters exchanged between individuals who used different languages (English & Spanish) will be translated accordingly and then the translated version will be sent along with the original letter. If you would like to support our efforts to cross language barriers, please considering making a financial contribution.

Q) If I want to keep communicating with my Neighbor do all my letters have to go through Sense of Place c/o Mt. Adams Institute?

A) Nope! When you receive a letter we will include instructions on what to do if you and your “Neighbor” want to continue corresponding on your own.

Q) I want to participate, but I have horrible handwriting! What should I do?

A) It’s okay to type and print off your letter. If you don’t have access to a computer/printer/typewriter consider asking a family member or friend if they’d write for you.

Q) Do I need to worry about Covid-19 being spread through the exchange of mail?

A) You will need to make a decision on your personal comfort level with sending and receiving mail. Here’s a few resources that may help you with that decision: USPS, CDC.