WALPOLE, N.H. – Priscilla Reyns of Walpole is on a mission to help people connect to each other. She has started the Sending Sunshine Movement that lets people connect by sending notes through “snail mail.” To that end, for the past year, she has set up once a week at Mazziott’s Bake Shop at 40 Main Street in Walpole and provides note cards by area artists for people to fill out and send to whomever they choose. Reyns gives free stamps and even takes the cards across the street to the Post Office and mails them.
Mazziott’s serves breakfast and lunch and provides baked goods Tuesday through Saturday, and once a week Reyns sets up her display of cards and provides the movement’s writing services, including use of a pen if you need one, on a varying schedule that is posted every month. Owner Kathy Mazziott says, “She is an integral part of our operation.”
Reyns feels Mazziott’s has been “so supportive” and she sees people making connections in the shop as well. She feels the “atmosphere they have created here” ties in with all the “sunshine” she has been able to spread. Reyns says Mazziott’s “makes it all possible providing the space and community.”
Reyns, a retired schoolteacher, says she was raised to write thank you notes. She now realizes that letter writing is no longer done on a regular basis, and “just opening that envelope means a lot to people.”
Gretchen of Walpole who bought and filled out a card last Wednesday said, “It’s such a nice initiative.”
Reyns feels the connections she has made with the people who come into the shop and beyond through the mail “are more than I ever envisioned.”
Reyns has also connected with a number of area artists. The note cards she provides range in price. She went to craft fairs and other venues to assemble a selection of note cards produced by over a dozen artisans and artists. Reyns also sees what she is doing as promoting art.
It ranges from photos to drawings and paintings. Her son scanned old family photos for the first cards. Then Reyns added cards by artists such as alpaca photos by Patricia Comeau of Langdon, paintings of goats by Amy Stodola – who came to the bake shop saw the cards and said “I make cards too” – the sketches of Gillian Tyler, and watercolors by Joanna Alix of Bellows Falls.
Reyns had them all to breakfast at the shop last November, and she feels they enjoyed connecting with each other, some of whom met there for the first time.
Anyone interested in the movement can contact Reyns at firstname.lastname@example.org.