about the mailbox.
Sue Goodrich, a Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina native, came up with the idea of The Little Red Mailbox after the passing of her dear mother. She remembered her mother saying to her “Sue, if you ever feel sad, help someone else out.” Sue was granted permission and support to place the very first mailbox at the Glenmere Beach Access which is now known as “Hope Access”. On the front of the mailbox, you’ll read “Leave a note of hope”. And inside, you’ll find a journal and pen.
In 2016, Unlimited Care reached out to Sue Goodrich explaining the resilience of a City destroyed by multiple floods, a community that shows up for each other, a home that believes in itself. Sue was interested, genuine, and immediately excited for Johnstown, PA to be the first sister location. She quickly got a mailbox, journal, and description note together to send to Pennsylvania.
After speaking with City Council and planning the debut, the mailbox was placed at Point Park in downtown Johnstown, PA on April 14, 2016! Surrounded by local nonprofits and community members, the mailbox stands as a beacon of hope, love, and support where the Stony Creek and Little Conemaugh rivers meet.
After two years of Western Pennsylvania weather, Johnstown’s mailbox was due for a makeover. A post, on the mailbox’s Facebook page, alerted the community that a local artist was being sought out for the process. A local woman, named Danielle Teplitza, caught Tasha’s eye with her design and description on why Danielle wanted to help with the project.
Danielle spoke of the beauty in Johnstown and how hope has, recently, been her saving grace in the unexpected passing of their infant son, Logan Francis, and a serious snowmobile accident- just three days later- involving her husband that left Danielle praying by his bedside in the ICU. “We were flooded with calls, text messages and social media comments,” Danielle stated, “but there was something special about the piles of handwritten cards we received in the mail.” Tasha reached out to Danielle and provided her with a plain white mailbox. Danielle spent the next week crafting her design.
“When she showed up with the completed mailbox, I couldn’t believe it.” Tasha said. “The time, detail, and love Danielle put into the new mailbox is absolutely moving.” Danielle’s mailbox has now replaced the original at Point Park in Johnstown where it is surrounded by encouraging, painted word rocks dropped-off by various community members. The original mailbox is arranged to be housed at the Cambria County Library where visitors can enjoy the two journals that have been filled throughout the past two years.
“If there is anything positive we can take from our experiences this year, it will be to continue paying it forward and instilling hope in others who may also need a little lift.” Danielle described. “A kind sentiment, whether from a loved one or complete stranger, is all it takes to keep the hope alive.”
Danielle’s mailbox replaced the original, at Point Park, on August 31, 2018.
“I’m a proud Johnstown area native – born, raised and here to stay. All of the positive things happening around town recently have been so inspiring to me and I and wanted to find a way to get involved. When I saw the Facebook post requesting design submissions for this mailbox, I knew this would be the perfect place to start.
Hope has been my saving grace this past year and I have been trying to find ways to spread that hope to anyone and everyone. My husband and I were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first child, Logan Francis, but due to an unexpected complication a few weeks before his due date, he was immediately born into heaven. I wanted to be mad – at God, at life, at everyone, but something kept pushing me to find peace.
Shortly after we were discharged from the hospital, my husband was in a snowmobile accident. A quick ride around the house ended in disaster when a mixture of ice and dirt caused him to lose control and hit some trees, resulting in the heavy machine landing on top of him. Just days after losing our son, I thought I was going to lose my husband as well. I spent the next several weeks at his bedside in the ICU, hoping and praying for a miracle.
We were flooded with calls, text messages and social media comments, but there was something special about the piles of handwritten cards we received in the mail. Social media makes it easy to instantly send congratulations, birthday wishes and sympathy to those you love, but there is something special about opening the mailbox to see a handwritten note.
While our faith may have been shaken at times, by some miracle we never lost hope. We credit our family, friends, local churches, coworkers, doctors, nurses and even complete strangers for their loving and kind words of encouragement that helped to pull us through.
If there is anything positive we can take from our experiences this year, it will be to continue paying it forward and instilling hope in others who may also need a little lift. A kind sentiment, whether from a loved one or complete stranger, is all it takes to keep the hope alive.
While we had an enormous circle of support, some others are not as fortunate. This mailbox is the key to giving the much needed support that every single human being deserves. A kind word, even if just from a stranger, can be someone’s lifeline.”
– Danielle Teplitiza