was trying to raise her two sons when the Gulf War broke out. She heard
about soldiers in the service who had no family and needed pen pals.
Letters addressed to
distributed by commanding officers who noticed any soldiers getting
little or no mail. Georgia wrote to 25 such soldiers almost daily, most
of them men. Keeping up with 25 pen pals on a daily basis almost
consumed Georgia's time and talents. She sent poems, little stories, and
words of hope and encouragement. When there were time constraints, she
would write one letter and copy it for everyone. Greetings were sent
whenever she knew about a special event, like a birthday.
One day, Georgia received a letter from a soldier that was
depressed and discouraged. She pondered as to how she could help lift
his spirits. It was then that she noticed that at work there were paper
clips of various colors. Georgia took one of the yellow paper clips and
photo copied it in the palm of her hand. She sent this picture with the
paper clip with the following message:
"This yellow paper clip that you see in my hand represents a hug
that I am sending to you. You can carry this paper clip in a pocket or
anywhere, and whenever you feel down, you can just touch and hold it and
know that somebody cares about you, and would give you a hug if she were
there." Georgia sent a copy of this picture along with a paper clip
and the message to each of her other correspondents. After the war
ended, Georgia received one of the pictures of her hand holding the
yellow paper clip, and on the back were over 150 signatures of people
that had been given her "hug". During the years, Georgia named
other paper clips. Pink came to mean a kiss, green was for good luck,
and so on.
Years later, Georgia was giving a class as part of a seminar for
positive thinking. She shared with the members of the class her paper
clip symbolism, and made a bracelet of multicolored paper clips for each
of them. One of the women exclaimed "So you're the one!" The
class member told Georgia that she was visiting her brother and needed
something to hold papers together. She had noticed a yellow paper clip
on the refrigerator held there with a magnet. She borrowed the paper
clip for her papers. When the brother saw it, he grabbed it and scolded
her, and told her never to touch the yellow paper clip again. Now she
knew why. No one will never know how far her message has spread, nor how
many lives have been touched by a simple yellow paper clip.
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