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A Guide To Writing Letters To Youth

Our young people need support, and one of the best ways to provide it is through letters. Here are some guidelines on what to write and what not to write:

Mailing address:

Northwest Youth Services

1020 North State St.

Bellingham, WA

Overall, the goal is to convey empathy, support, and encouragement while respecting their individuality and maintaining boundaries. By following these guidelines, you can create a meaningful and uplifting letter that truly connects with the youth in your community.


Begin with a warm greeting such as, "Dear Neighbor," to establish a friendly and welcoming tone.


Express your support and encouragement. For instance, "We want you to know that we're here for you, and want you to know you are not alone."


Highlight the strength of the community's support. You might say, "You're not alone. There's a whole community behind you, rooting for your success."


Keep the focus on the youth and their importance in the community. Emphasize their value and worth, making them feel seen and appreciated.


Avoid minimizing their experiences or dismissing their challenges with phrases like, "You'll be fine." Instead, acknowledge their struggles while offering support.


Refrain from making promises that you may not be able to fulfill, such as guaranteeing a job or specific assistance.


Respect their privacy and avoid labeling them by their experiences or living situations. Treat them as individuals deserving of dignity and respect, rather than defining them by their circumstances.


Steer clear of sharing personal trauma stories. While empathy is important, the focus should remain on the youth and their needs, rather than diverting attention to your own experiences.

What NOT to say

What TO to say

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