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Kind Mail Project lets Western alumni encourage first-year students

Liny Lamberink / 980 CFPL

First-year students at Western University may get some unexpected words of encouragement this week from an unlikely source.

The Kind Mail Project will distribute over 1,000 postcards to undergraduate students as they approach their first university exam season.

The project encourages Western alumni to pen a note, in 190 characters or less, to a first-year student who’s living in their old dorm room.

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Meghan Cocurullo is spearheading the project and says they had more than 1,300 submissions last year.

She says the notes were well received.

“The students were very surprised last year, it kind of caught them off guard because you don’t receive a whole lot of mail in residence,” said Cocurullo. “It’s a nice note from a stranger who used to live in your old residence who is just reaching out to wish you luck.”

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Second-year music education student Carole Palattao recalls getting her letter last year and says it was a pleasant surprise.

“When you live in residence, you forget that other people have lived in that room as well, people that also went to Western and still feel connected to the school.”

She says she held onto the note throughout the school year.

“It was very encouraging, it was nice to know that even though someone didn’t know me, they were looking out for me,” said Palattao.

“I put it up on my desk and had it there for encouragement.”

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Cocurello says it’s an ideal time of year for some extra encouragement, as some students experience the stresses of university exams for the first time.

“For some students, exams can be a really tough time of year, so I think with the message coming through at the holiday season and during exam period is a really nice gesture.”

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She expects the cards to be delivered by the end of the week.