A letter to fairies? Portland woman sets up mailbox

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"Things have been so painfully boring for kids”

A Portland woman set up a fairy mailbox for children to write to fairies and the children write back. (COURTESY: LANIE JANSHESKI)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — If you’re walking in the Concordia neighborhood in Portland, you might see a dusting of glitter waiting to greet you on the sidewalk.

Lanie Jansheski put a small “fairy mailbox” on the edge of her yard for kids to write letters to “fairies” and later, the small mythical creatures will write back. The magical mailbox looks like a little house carved into a log with windows cutout and a small door that opens with little string lights making it easier to find.

Jansheski said she wanted to bring a little of magic and joy when “things have been so painfully boring for kids” during the pandemic.

A Portland woman put together a fairy mailbox for children to write letters to. She later answers each letter one by one. (COURTESY: LANIE JANSHESKI)

The Portland resident smiled as she described leaving fairy letters for children to pick up on a little fake mushroom statue next to the mailbox.

“I’ve gotten seven letters, and I started posting them on an Instagram account,” she said. “There’s been a bunch of berries left out there for the fairies. There have been pinecones and crayons.”

On the Instagram account @fairymailpdx, the letters posted ask the fairies what their favorite color is or asking to be friends.

Jansheski recalled one parent saying that her daughter “was in a place where she just needed this kind of magic.”

The Portland resident also posted the fairy mailbox on Nextdoor for other parents to get involved and bring their children. So far, the post has 121 likes and more than 20 comments since it was first posted last week.

A letter from a child featured on @fairymailpdx’s Instagram account. Children can write letters to fairies and drop them off at a mailbox in Northeast Portland. (COURTESY: LANIE JANSHESKI)

“It brings something special for me too. My son goes to bed, and I get out my little box of correspondents and I write really small and it’s a nice little hobby,” Jansheski said. “My husband and I giggle about all the stuff we’re having to make up on the fly to answer these kids’ questions in a way that we’re not promising anything we can’t deliver.”

When children ask in letters for the fairies to reveal themselves, Jansheski writes back that the fairies like to stay invisible to hide from owls. However, the fairies do drop glitter everywhere they go.

She said that including the note about glitter can help parents keep the magic afloat at home and drop a little glitter on their sidewalk from time to time.

“My favorite part is seeing their excitement and their little kid handwriting. It’s so sweet. It’s very, very sweet,” Jansheski added.

The fairy mailbox can be found on the north side of Ainsworth Street in Northeast Portland – about seven houses from Fernhill Park.

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