Sheri Sather had the idea to create an Instagram page called Power of Pen Pals while on a road trip after her son met one of his pen pals, hundreds of miles away. Eight-year-old Justin has been communicating with Sammie and several other youngsters since he was six and Sheri turned a family vacation into a chance for her sons to meet Sammie. Then, she had the idea to extend the community online.
That's where they met Perise Forbi, a college student who has been working in Cameroon to reduce his country's overwhelming plastic pollution when he reached out to Justin, through the Power of Pen Pals page. He needed to do more than rescue it from the shores and streets, but was running out of ideas. Through Power of Pen Pals, many have stepped forward with ideas.
Justin has been inspired by children and young adults all over the world and has a goal to visit each of them, as he visited Sammie, who approached her mother with an idea. Her mom, Heidi, helped Sammie, herself a little shy, devise a way to recycle plastic bottle caps into a Buddy Bench that would encourage even the most shy students to find new friends. Her project was so successful, her school now has two benches and she has created a global movement before her 10th birthday!
Power of Pen Pals connects people from all demographics who want to make the world better, whether by eliminating loneliness or wiping out plastic pollution so the world's frogs aren't wiped out.
This podcast goes beyond Power of Pen Pals by bringing Justin, Perise and Sammie together for our listeners. You can read their individual stories on buneke.org. Be on the lookout for more outstanding stories that come as a result of the Power of Pen Pals, because Sheri has volunteered to be the liaison for bUneke and the hundreds (?) of pen pals and will bring them to life in future issues of bUneke Magazine.