The Red Letter Envelope Project has been a tradition at Bloomingdale High School for more than 10 years. In the project, seniors are given red envelopes from family, friends, past teachers or coaches that are filled with letters of congratulations and encouragement to help them prepare for college or going off into the world.
“It’s been a tradition for at least 10 years,” said Wendy Johnson, Red Letter Envelope Project coordinator at Bloomingdale High School. “It’s a special thing for the seniors. The letters come from all their family and friends from near and far. I have received letters from Japan and England. Many students get letters from past teachers and coaches. It means a lot to the seniors that someone took the time to write them.”
There is a little history about red envelopes being a symbol of luck as well. In Chinese culture, red envelopes are gifts presented at social and family gatherings like weddings or holidays such as Chinese New Year. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck. It is also gifted when a person is visiting as a gesture of kindness. Red envelopes are usually given out to the younger generation who are normally still in school.
“We usually give the envelopes to the seniors during senior breakfast,” Johnson said. “COVID kept us from doing that last year, so we had to do a drive-through red letter pickup. We are hoping to keep the tradition of having the senior breakfast this year, fingers crossed.”
Johnson knows how important it is for Bloomingdale seniors to get these red letter envelopes because her child was a senior last year at Bloomingdale. “My hope is that each senior feels loved,” Johnson said, “that each one knows they have people in their corner. Nowadays, we don’t tell our family and friends enough how proud we are and how much we love them. No gift cards, no presents, just words of encouragement, praise and love, that is the gift.”
Seniors’ parents, guardians, family and friends still have time to get their red letter envelopes to the seniors. The red letter envelopes are due by Wednesday, April 14 at Bloomingdale High School.
“This will give them plenty of time to think of what they would like to say to the graduate,” Johnson said. “We will collect all letters and cards sent to the school and keep them safe and confidential.”
If you would like to send a senior a red letter envelope, please make sure the cards or letters are no larger than 8”x10”. Packages, gift cards and cards with confetti are not allowed. Please keep all envelopes flat. Please do not send anything of value, as the school is not responsible. If you are sending several envelopes inside a large envelope, please put the student’s full name on all envelopes.
If you have any other questions, please contact Johnson at email@example.com or call 505-5184.