Two-year-old’s love of snail mail sparks nationwide letter exchange

Athena loves giving and receiving mail

A Coast Guard family, originally from Rich Creek and now stationed in Florida, is melting hearts across America with handmade cards from their two-year-old daughter.

To brighten up these darker days, Courtney Hainen and her daughter Athena frequently crowd the kitchen table to craft cards to send to others.

“So being home more meant that we needed to come up with a few more things to do,” Hainen said. “Because we couldn’t just up and go to the park.”

The idea came after Athena celebrated her second birthday. As cards flooded the mailbox, she discovered a new love.

“She was excited about opening them,” Hainen said. “And I told my husband that she likes getting mail, and she’s only two, so other kids would probably like to get mail.”

To get other moms on board with the idea, Hainen decided to post in several different groups on Facebook. She invited them to try out a one-time pen pal-type exchange.

Whether it was a letter, craft or painting, the response was overwhelming. Letters were mailed all over the U.S. including Arizona, Utah and California.

Hainen said anyone can feel free to share the idea on social media.

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