On 1 January 2018, 48 year old Jen Kramer made a New Year resolution - that she would embark on a journey of love. For 365 days of 2018, she would publicly acknowledge her love to people in her life via a 'love letter' on social media.

Jen Kramer's New Year resolution was to share 365 'love letters' on social media to people around her.


Before she retired to bed every day in 2018, Jen Kramer would post a photo and a short love letter on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #YearofLove, showing her appreciation for someone - a friend, family member or even a co-worker. Some days it was old high school friends she had lost touch with, on others a stranger who was nice to her.

Jen Kramer's New Year resolution was to share 365 'love letters' on social media to people around her.
The very first post on January 1, 2018


For someone who is the director of events at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, ironically Jen rarely planned who she would write about as the day began. By her own admission, it started off easy - publicly sharing her love for her people - friends, extended family and co-workers. As the days went by, she realized something though. Her real love went much further than just her existing community and near ones though. Love was all around her in so many ways and hues:

  • It was in the way the diner waitress helped her practice her Spanish. 
  • It was in the reluctant elderly woman who struggled with her umbrella in the rain before cautiously offering a ride from Jen and becoming friends for life.  
Jen Kramer's New Year resolution was to share 365 'love letters' on social media to people around her.


She ended up being featured on multiple news media and even talk shows over the course of the last year for her inspiring posts. For 365 days straight, she looked for and found love not just in the world around her or the tens of thousands of likes and shares but also in how she became closer to so many more people in real life.

“In a lot of ways, it’s been an experiment in healing. Somehow, some way, showing love, expressing love, feeling love, exhibiting love has been a way to sort of navigate those moments of sadness — whether it’s about a person or a way things used to be or a way we used to treat each other.”
- Jen Kramer


I got to chatting with Jen Kramer earlier this year.

I love how your 'Year of Love' project was a New Year resolution aimed at making others happy instead of focusing on one's own needs. How did this idea come about? Was it tough finding people as the year progressed?

I truly wanted to see if I could do something for an entire year, and thought it made more sense to make that about other people. I knew that living a life of gratitude would be tremendously beneficial for me, but would also be a 'gift' for those I showed gratitude to as well. It was absolutely not difficult for me to find people, in fact there were more people I wanted to feature than I had days in the year!

Could you share a few memorable responses you have received for these letters from the recipients?

Not only did people shower the love right back, but I surprised many of them! It's not every day people do these sorts of things for each other. When I featured Anthony, the homeless man near my office, people offered to send money, and a new winter coat. When I featured my friend Nancy, she was so touched so decided to take on Year of Love for herself, and continues to do so today.

Jen Kramer's New Year resolution was to share 365 'love letters' on social media to people around her.


What about you? In sharing all this love for a year, how have you been altered by the experience?

My relationships won't ever be the same because of this experiment. My relationships are more rich, more intimate and I am more connected to people. Living live from the perspective of gratitude is profoundly rewarding.

Jen Kramer's New Year resolution was to share 365 'love letters' on social media to people around her.


Heaven knows the world could use more of this. What advice would you give to someone reading this and wondering if they should do the same?

My advice is, just take it on! It doesn't have to look any particular way. You don't even have to do it every day. Do it when it strikes you. You just have to get started. Open your eyes to all of the love around you - and see what happens when you're publicly grateful for the people in your life. You won't be sorry!

Jen Kramer's New Year resolution was to share 365 'love letters' on social media to people around her.

“This was an experiment that absolutely altered the course of my life and the way I go through life and it cost me nothing.” 
- Jen Kramer



Inspiring others may not have been the intention of Jen Kramer's project, but it has been an incredible and welcome outcome for her #YearOfLove.


Author's note:
This is part of my #BlogchatterA2Z and  #AtoZChallenge where I will be focusing on Real Life Heroes of Kindness and Compassion. 

Of course, I have been tracking these lovely human beings for years now and have found children as young as six years old and old women in their eighties from across the world who will restore your faith in humanity.

Want more stories of compassion to brighten up your day? Hundreds of 'Heroes of Kindness' can be found here:

Heroes of Kindness - 2017 edition
Heroes of Kindness - 2018 edition
Heroes of Kindness - 2019 edition
Heroes of Kindness - Indian edition

9 Comments

  1. Thank You for putting more love out there in the world. My A to Z is at... https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/2019/04/10/2019-i-a-to-z-italian-famiglia-foods-and-memories-icebox-cake/

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is, indeed, a very unique and loving gesture! Publicly expressing your love for every person in your world, your life, can definitely make us feel so much more richer and fortunate. It's the people and their love that makes us rich, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  3. So needed to read this today. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. WhiteangelbirdApril 11, 2019

    You did it again..love can heal anything and your post helps in believing that it does.. Everyday you come up with such wonderful post. Thank you .

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow!! this is incredible. There is so much creativity to give in the world and here we grapple all day with just our third world problems. What a beautiful human being!

    ReplyDelete
  6. That is such a nice gesture! I liked how she used the power of social media to spread the message of being grateful.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I had no idea that love could be so easily spread in the world. All we need is the right intention to make a difference.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thats really a wonderful and simple gesture. I liked the idea that the social media could also be used for spreading love.

    https://shravmusings.com/2019/04/karthikeya-army-chief/

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for sharing, nice post! Post really provice useful information!

    Giaonhan247 chuyên dịch vụ mua hàng trên amazon ship về việt nam hay dịch vụ mua hàng amazon hay nhận order mua hàng trên ebay việt nam hay nhận mua vòng tay pandora chính hãng cùng bảng giá gửi hàng đi mỹ giá rẻ, dịch vụ uy tín.

    ReplyDelete

So what do you think ?