When you think about your community, your country and the world, what is important to you? Would you like to encourage people in your neighborhood to clean up a local park? Could you inspire others to start recycling more? Maybe you just want to inspire a change in your school lunchroom menu.

Whatever your passion, your ideas to make the world a better place are called “causes," and this wonder will teach you how to use the power of writing to advance your cause.

One way letter writing can help your cause is to provide publicity. If you write a letter and a newspaper prints it, this helps people who may not know about your cause learn more about it. If your letter sparks a debate, this may inspire other people who support the cause to speak up, too!

Letter writing campaigns can help citizens reach out to elected officials, such as mayors, city councils, state representatives and even the president. Elected officials want to hear from their constituents.

By contacting your officials, you can tell them what is important to you. This information helps them as they make decisions that affect your community and the people who live there.

If you want to raise money for a particular cause, a letter writing campaign can be a great way to contact potential donors. Most people appreciate a personal, handwritten letter much more than an email message.

Even if you're writing to someone as important as the president of the United States, a letter writing campaign doesn't have to be difficult. An effective letter includes three simple things:

  • A description of the issue
  • An explanation of the problem
  • An explanation of what you would like the official to do about the problem

Here is an example:

Dear Mayor Opolis,

Here in Wonderopolis, I have noticed that some of my neighbors don't recycle.

Each trash day, a lot of recyclable items are thrown away with the garbage and go to the Wonderopolis landfill. I talked to my neighbors, and they say they don't like taking time to sort their recyclables into three separate bins — one for plastic, one for paper, one for glass. They say this takes too much time and effort, and it is easier to simply throw everything in one bin.

I would like to share some information with you about single-stream recycling. This type of recycling program allows residents to put all of their recyclables in the same container. The items are then sorted at the facility.

After doing some research, I have discovered that many other communities are using single-stream recycling and have found that resident recycling increases when there is no need to sort recyclables.

Please consider implementing a single-stream recycling program in Wonderopolis. This will help make the environment a little greener — and Wonderopolis even more wonderful!

Thank you.


Concerned Citizen of Wonderopolis

P.S. I am also sending copies of this letter to the Wonderopolis City Council and Wonderopolis Director of Public Services.

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow, set aside your pen and paper, and return to Wonderopolis for a wonder that will have your head in the clouds!