Writing a letter to the families of the victims of the Quebec City mosque shooting has been a cathartic experience for 27-year-old Sarah Johnston.
It’s part of a project called Lettre à toi, or Letters To You in English, that encourages people across the province to share their feelings, sentiments and thoughts with those affected by the deadly attack.
Johnston, who works as a freelance translator, was one of six people who organized the vigil that took place the day after the mosque attack.
“We wanted to make sure that the conversation didn’t end at the vigil because there are families that are stuff suffering and a community that is still suffering,” she told Global News.
“We didn’t want that to be forgotten.”
Lettre à toi has received over 200 letters from people across the province.
“Based on the letters we read, we have lots of people writing in and saying that it was cathartic for them, but it also let them reflect on their actions,” Johnston said.
“A lot of people wrote in to say, ‘before, if I heard a hateful remark, I’ve stayed silent, but seeing what silence and apathy can do, I’m not saying silent anymore.”
WATCH BELOW: Terror in Quebec City after mosque shooting
The organizers are gathering the letters in a binder, which will be given to the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec, where the attack took place.
The group will then distribute 15 additional binders to other mosques and centres where Muslim people gather.
“One of the victims, Azzeddine Soufiane, ran a grocery and it’s still being run by his wife, so we hope to have a binder there to reach more people,” the 27-year-old told Global News.
“We’ve also assembled boxes for people who lost someone or who have someone who was greatly injured in the attack.”
The group finished assembling the binders last week and hope to distribute them shortly.
IN PHOTOS: Carnage inside the Quebec City mosque: WARNING – graphic images
Johnston admitted she doesn’t necessarily see closure when it comes to the issue of islamophobia or discrimination, but said the group hopes to continue the project to keep the conversation going.
“There’s still a lot of hurt. There’s still a lot of families who are still adjusting to not having somebody with them,” Johnston told Global News.
“We just wanted to make sure that people know that we remember and we’re not going to let them be forgotten.”
Letters can still be sent (anonymously or otherwise) to:
Lettre à toi
CP 30247 Mail Centre Ville
Québec, QC, G1K 8Y2
Or by e-mail: email@example.com