From asking to put a woman on our national currency to successfully advocating for Jedi marriage rights, kids these days are really proving that their letter-writing game is on point, sparking change by crushing it in their correspondence. And they're not the first youngsters to do so. Here are the most inspiring letters online that remind us of the true power of postage.
A boy wanted to help his brother with cerebral palsy go outside, and received $57k to make it happen.
When Tobias Bass, 10, saw his older brother Titus cry about not being able to play outside due to cerebral palsy, he vowed to complete a 5k together. Tobias wrote to an Oklahoma news station, hoping to procure “fancy running pushing" stroller. He didn't even ask for one to keep, just to borrow.
The letter went viral, and a real estate firm donated nearly $57,500 for "training and athletic equipment as they embark on bigger runs and more challenging triathlons," as well as "their medical or educational needs in the future." Tobias can teach us a lot about humility in asking for what we need, all while using it to better the lives of those whom we care most about. Pretty impressive for a 10-year-old.
A girl with two dads encouraged the president to keep fighting for marriage equality -- and got an equally encouraging response.
When 10-year-old Sofia Bailey Klugh sent a letter to President Obama, it was in many ways like a normal thank-you note, but with one big difference — she was thanking him for supporting her parents’ relationship. Klugh has two dads who “love each other," she wrote, "but at school, kids think that it’s gross and weird," which "really hurts my heart and feelings."
To Sofia's (and her parents’) surprise, Obama wrote back with advice about dealing with the negative judgment of others. Her original letter was enough in itself to show kids with LGBT parents that they are not alone, and that bullies' teasing is the only "gross" thing here.
A pro hockey player's daughter landed him a contract in order to see him more, and brought attention to kids in similar lonely situations.
11-year-old Jordyn Leopold became both daughter and sports agent of the year with her letter to the Minnesota Wild. She successfully requested the team make a trade for her father, Jordan Leopold, so he could be closer to home.
The letter did more than put pressure on the Wild to acquire him. As her dad explains, the unprompted gesture brought attention to the strain long-distance parenting can place on families, for professional athletes and many other careers.
At the very least, Jordyn helped a hockey team that has, as she delicately puts it, “not been winning games and you lovly coaches are most likely mad about that but your team needs more D men.” Kids close the darndest deals.
A boy asked Santa for the gift of equality for his transgender sister, and hopefully changed some minds in the process.
In all the letters Santa gets every year asking for toys, there are a few gems like this one that remind us what our real priorities should be. A fourth grade boy requested equality for “black, white, brown, gay, transgender and every other race,” writing specifically and personally about his sister Molly, who came out as transgender at the age of 18.
He acknowledges his family’s love for his sister and how lucky they are to have that, but also the painful reality that this is not always the norm. "We have had nothing but support from everyone," his mother told HuffPo, adding, "I don't think he realizes yet he has the power to move people and touch hearts with his words."
A 13-year-old brought national attention to his Chicago neighborhood.
Malik Bryant may not still believe in Santa, but wrote a letter to him anyway as part of a campaign to provide Christmas presents for underprivileged kids. Malik asked for something less material and more difficult to provide: safety in Englewood, on the South Side of Chicago, a neighborhood where that's often uncertain. "I just wanna be safe," he concluded.
The letter went over St. Nick’s head, right to President Obama, who offered assurance that spoke to many children in similar situations: “Each day, I strive to ensure communities like yours are safe places to dream, discover and grow. Please know your security is a priority for me in everything I do as President.”
Kid President wrote "A Letter To The Future," urging us all to do a little better.
Not to be outdone by the adult president, Kid President took letter-writing to the next level with this message to the future, putting it all in perspective: "Sure, there's bad things in the world, but there's also pizza," so we should "throw kindness around like confetti." (215,000 views isn't bad for an 11-year-old.)
If everyone thought about life the way this pint-size pres does, then we'd know the future is only as awesome as we make it.