Dispatches from Postcard Underground

Shortly after my TED talk in April 2017, we received these in the mail…mysterious hand written postcards. 

 Mysterious handwritten postcards....

Mysterious handwritten postcards....

Mysterious not because they were written by hand. But rather, where they were from. They were non-descript cards, not the usual “Greetings from San Francisco” type of postcard bearing scenes from the location. In fact, some were simply notecards with just a message on one side and my address on the other. And they bore no return address or name of sender…but I could tell from the postmark from where they hailed from across the United Stated. 

And they appeared all at once…or more aptly in two batches.

The first batch arrived after I’d been out of the office for a conference. They all sat discreetly on my desk until a few hours later when I noticed the short stack of cards addressed to Kim Grace (common mistake for those of us who have two first names). They all bore similar messages of encouragement along the vein of:

“Thank you for your work on [cohousing].  Who knew that having neighbors lengthens a life span.  Hearing & knowing your neighbors provides the community that is missing in our everyday lives. Best wishes for growing success."

Thinking it was a TED groupie thing, I asked my fellow TED presenters if they had received any such postcards. The response was, surprisingly,  

“What?!? No.”

So I had no idea who urged them to send them to me or why…until we received the second batch.

 Our first clue as to where these were coming from:  a small pink "Postcard Underground" stamp (see top right postcard).

Our first clue as to where these were coming from:  a small pink "Postcard Underground" stamp (see top right postcard).

The second batch also came while I was out of the office. While these were similarly non-descript and vaguely familiar in tone, this time I noticed one bore a light pink stamp reading “POSTCARD UNDERGROUND”.

So I googled “postcard underground” and found links like this…and this…and this.  The POSTCARD UNDERGROUND was a real “thing”. Someone was blogging (somewhere) about good work being done around the globe and encouraging her readers to send anonymous notes. From one of the posts, I gleaned the intent of the POSTCARD UNDERGROUND –“A coordinated but random act of kindness and recognition to those who really deserve it.”  WOW!

Thanks to all those who are the POSTCARD UNDERGROUND. Your words fuel me and others who are trying to make the world a better place. I am honored to be the recipient of your random acts.

Keep on writing.