WALT Day | God's World News

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Citizen Ship
Posted: March 01, 2023
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    Becky DePra writes letters to encourage others. She created WALT (Write A Letter Today) Day. (Handout)
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    Kids help DePra write letters. (Handout)
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    Mrs. DePra writes to Sergeant Vimaliz Rivera. (Handout)
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    Letters encouraged Lindsey Seymour. She was away from home. (Handout)
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When she was 15 years old, Becky had to move all the way from Puerto Rico to the United States. Her dad was a missionary. He took his family to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to start a Hispanic church.

“Yep,” Becky says now. “I’m a PK, a pastor’s kid.” The move to Pennsylvania meant saying goodbye to family. “I left my cousin, who was my best friend. Since phone calls cost money, I began to write letters to her.”

Fast forward a few decades to 2009. Becky was now Mrs. DePra (dih-PRAY). She had grown up and was raising her family in Hornell, New York. She still loved her relatives back in Puerto Rico. She still enjoyed letter writing. Mrs. DePra also knew the U.S. Postal Service was in trouble. It needed money. She asked God how she could help.

Mrs. DePra got an idea: Write a letter today.

She asked God, “You want me to write a letter? NOW? How is that going to help?”

But the thought kept coming back, and WALT Day was born. (WALT stands for Write A Letter Today.)

WALT Day works like this: Mrs. DePra chooses a person who needs encouragement, often someone serving in the U.S. military. Sometimes that person is a friend. Sometimes it’s a stranger. She inspires others to help her write. People with big, important jobs write letters. Everyday folks write letters. Four-year-olds write . . . and so do 80-year-olds! People with special needs write letters—sometimes with help. Mrs. DePra collects the letters in a big envelope and sends them.

Those little letters do big work. One returning soldier pulls a WALT Day letter from his pocket. He says it sustained him during a very hard time.

WALT Day Spotlight

Sergeant Vimaliz Rivera served in the U.S. military. WALT Day writers didn’t know her, but they sent her letters. Like Mrs. DePra, her family came from Puerto Rico. Mrs. DePra and Sergeant Rivera became pen pals. Sergeant Rivera even stayed with Mrs. DePra when she came to New York for an award ceremony. “What a wonderful time we had with her,” Mrs. DePra says. “Lots of laughter and deep talks.”

Why? Letters have power, even in modern times. We still read Bible letters written about 2,000 years ago!