Our vision is for every survivor to know that they are a part of something larger, to feel there is a community of people rooting for them, and to believe that they hold power in their recovery and knowledge in their healing that can be passed on to others.
Our mission is to empower survivors of trauma by connecting them with messages of hope, healing and solidarity through the magic of snail mail & handwritten notes.
About Survivor Cards
Alyson and her grandmother Naomi
We're so glad you're here!
Survivor Cards is a growing 501c3 nonprofit and grassroots organization based out of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Our primary goal is to provide hope, healing and solidarity to trauma survivors and the special magic that only handwritten snail mail can provide.
Our founder, Alyson Wick, a trauma survivor herself, initially formed her love of handwritten letters through her grandmother Naomi, a survivor of The Great Depression, by sending postcards and little life updates back and forth on stationery and scraps of paper almost weekly until Naomi's passing in early 2022.
The first spark of the Survivor Cards movement began at a trauma survivor retreat, organized by Alyson's sexual assault advocate, Nora, back in 2012. During a letter writing workshop that took place at the retreat, survivors were encouraged to write a letter to their younger or initially traumatized self and consider what they wish they could have told themselves, what comfort they wish they could've provided them and what words of wisdom they would've shared.
She and some of the other survivors there that day shared what they had written - with each other and then saw how similar their experiences were. Without realizing it at the time, they experienced the healing nature of community care, art therapy, mindfulness and the de-stigmatization of mental health.
Alyson relocated to the Cincinnati area in early 2020 after escaping a 4 year abusive relationship and was immediately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with therapy and medication, she turned back to writing letters to herself as a way to cope.
She began to share them online to reach others who were feeling isolated, triggered or re-traumatized by quarantine and the lack of in-person connection and community
Survivor Cards quickly became a small network of volunteers encouraging others with their handwritten notes.
In a time when technology has brought everyone instantly together, sometimes it also seems to isolate and remove survivors of trauma from connecting to others. What we seek to do is bring back a little of the magic in getting surprise mail that seeks to support and encourage.
In every envelope we send out in the world, there is an anonymous, handwritten note from someone who cares, along with mental health resources, freebies and the hope for a better day.
Visit our What We Do page to learn more about what else we have to offer!
Past Cards by Volunteers Like You:
Whether it’s an individual who is looking for human connection, or an agency hoping to support and encourage their survivor clients, Survivor Cards is a nonjudgmental organization there to help.
We are unapologetically and unequivocally inclusive, serving survivors from all races, religions, genders, economic backgrounds, orientations, disabilities, ages and more.
While we have a primary focus in Southwestern Ohio, we are willing to serve survivors anywhere, from within the state to across the world!
In 2022, we began coordinating with retreats, trainings, domestic violence shelters, mental health organizations, shelters and more to provide them with the gift of card drives and coordinate letter writing exchange workshops for the folks they serve.
We can even help teach and facilitate these workshops for organizations serving the trauma survivor community, free of charge!
We've written over 1,000 cards for survivors of trauma with YOUR help!
Recipients include YWCA of Greater Cincinnati and Dayton, Tristate Trauma Network, Lighthouse Youth & Family Services, Walleyes for Wounded Heroes, Kaleidoscope Youth Center, NYAP (National Youth Advocate Program), Heroes on the Water, and countless individuals around the globe.
So far in 2023, we've provided 100 cards to NYAP (National Youth Advocate Program) and are currently collecting 60 cards for Lindner Center of HOPE. We've provided over 50 cards to individuals across the globe so far this year.
Want to get involved?
Write or receive a card, or spread the news that we exist?
Volunteer an hour of your time as an individual or with your group, organization or place of employment?
Organize a letter writing exchange workshop with the survivors you serve?
Get to know our 2023 Board Members:
"Our vision is for every survivor to know that they are a part of something larger, for them to know there is a community of people rooting for them, and that they hold power in their recovery and knowledge in their healing that can be passed on to others."