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Covid-19 meant isolation for many kids. This New Hanover County non-profit is helping them reconnect

Community outreach coordinator Christy Aley with the Orange Mailbox project.
Ashley Brown
Community outreach coordinator Christy Aley with the Orange Mailbox project.

The Orange Mailbox Project is a summer initiative for local youth to help them make connections through creative writing.

The project was started in November of 2020 as a way to keep middle and high school children engaged during the isolation of the pandemic.

Kids write letters to each other and place them in Orange mailboxes in nine locations across New Hanover County. The program provides writing prompts, postcards, and templates to help youth share their thoughts and ideas.

Community Outreach Coordinator Christy Aley wants to help children cope and understand that other children are dealing with the same issues they are.

“We really are trying to implement that perseverance and being able to bounce back from any type of stress and trauma that they might be experiencing,” she said.

Aley also wants children to know that they are more alike than they are different.

There are over 140 children currently in the program. Postcards will be delivered and exchanges will take place once a month through September 2021. To find out more, visit the organization’s website at harrelsoncenter.org.

Ashley Brown is from from Houston, TX. She holds a BA in Mass Communication from Sam Houston State University and an MA in Professional Communication and Digital Media from Texas Southern University. Her love of news, radio, and entertainment led her to the field of journalism. As a creative person, she loves the journalistic challenge of putting stories together. And as a future news reporter, she hopes to tell stories that reach and affect people. In her spare time, she enjoys music, reading, journaling, spending time with friends and family, and trying out new brunch places to eat.