Inspiration Information — Elizabeth McClung

by aaron on November 18, 2010

Because I cannot wait for the world to change for the better, I must change it.” —Elizabeth McClung

Elizabeth McClung is a writer, an academic, a lesbian, and a loving wife.  She is also in the final stages of a terminal illness, which she has been fighting for years.  But these are not the labels that define Elizabeth.  In fact, what makes her so incredibly inspiring is her voice, the profound strength and conviction with which she chooses to speak out and raise awareness for widespread stereotypes, misconceptions and mistreatment of disabled people.

“I am more than my wheelchair, I am more than my breathing device, I am more than my illness, my disability. And so are all those others out there. So are all those with invisible disabilities.”

Three years ago, Elizabeth decided she didn’t want to let her illness consume or drag her down.  That instead of wallowing in self-pity and regret, she would appreciate every precious second and use her remaining time to spread goodness and positivity in the world at large.  And so she started the “Postcard Project”: where Elizabeth personally designs and sends out a caring, uplifting postcard to anyone who could use the tangible handcrafted pick-me-up.

Some of the postcards are hand-drawn.  Others are pictures of cute animals, anime cut-outs, stickers.  Oftentimes they are a combination of everything.  But always they are specifically unique, created for one particular person and sent with all the love and care of that person in mind.

“The postcard is fantasy, it is encouragement, it is a companion against loneliness, it is a smile between friends.  It is what you need it to be… that someone knows your name, and a little part of you, and cares about that part can sometimes get you through.”  –-Elizabeth

What began as a handful of postcards sent to close family and friends has blossomed into a wonderful crusade of kindness.  Elizabeth will send a postcard to anyone, anywhere: from children to prisoners to hospital patients.    The majority are strangers, people Elizabeth has never and probably will never meet.  If you request a postcard, she will reply.  To date she has sent over 5300 postcards (that’s an average of 125 per month!).

In her own words: “For me, no matter what is taken away from me, I can continue in this course, to hopefully help someone believe that life doesn’t suck ALL the time.  That is the joy of giving, and giving things that are fun, and amazing and wonderful.  Whatever postcard that would bring a smile, that makes your life a touch better, whatever postcard you need, or want to see, if I can send it, I will.

Such a beautifully simple mission and an unbelievably inspiring attitude.  And yet, here’s the thing.  For all the thousands of postcards Elizabeth has sent out, she receives few replies herself (not that this is why she does it, of course). So here’s our mission Superforest… got to Elizabeth’s website and leave her some positive feedback.  efmpostcardproject.blogspot.com.  Or create and send her a personalized postcard.

Beth McClung

PO BOX 2560

Port Angeles, WA 98362

Just as Elizabeth has inspired so many others, let’s inspire her.  She deserves it.

Also, today’s inspiration Information post comes to us courtesy of Nate St. Pierre and the Love Drop team.  Every thursday they send out a mission to boost a struggling individual’s spirit through an influx of anonymous uplifting and positive feedback.  It’s a community version of random acts of kindness, heightened exponentially by the mass power of hundreds.  If you haven’t subscribed to their weekly team, I strongly suggest you jump onboard now.  It’s easy, takes no more than 15 minutes/week out of your life, but increases your happiness a thousand fold.

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