Thoughts from Maxient in Charlottesville

Dear Young Person

As many of you know, we are headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia. Last weekend, our city was invaded by hate and violence that runs counter to everything for which we as a company stand. Our beautiful pedestrian mall — where hundreds of you joined us for MaxFest barely two months ago — became a scene of tragedy and a focal point of our national pain. In the days that have followed, many of you have emailed or submitted tickets to offer your thoughts and prayers, check on our well-being, and to ask if there’s anything you can do to help.

As part of my broader involvement in this community, I serve on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge. While we adults can turn to the news, social media, or gather for vigils to help us process these events, our young people cannot. I know first-hand the challenges thousands of Charlottesville children were already facing prior to this weekend. We cannot let the scenes they witnessed in our community become their image of the broader world.

Our agency has launched an initiative we’re calling #DearYoungPerson, to get postcard messages of self-worth and hope into their hands. The campaign has begun to spread not only in our community but across social media, and we’re starting to see cards written and sent from all around the world. These cards will be distributed by us directly and personally to the children of our city. It’s a quick and simple way to share your positive messages and know they will be impactful.

With students moving back to your campuses, the events of this weekend will be on their minds and surely the topic of much conversation. My first job in higher ed was as a resident advisor, so I know and respect the power of student affairs professionals to engage their communities in social good. If you are willing and have the venue — perhaps an activity on your residence hall floor, a kiosk in your student union, an icebreaker during a staff meeting — I’d be honored to have your help and your voice to show the children of Charlottesville that there’s a bigger world out there that cares about them.

We want to make this as easy as possible. Maxient will cover all the printing and postage costs for our clients, and have ready-to-write postcards shipped straight to you. All you have to do is rally your community to write messages and drop them back into a mailbox. If you believe you can help, please email, tell me how many cards you need, and provide me your mailing address. If you’re eager to start and don’t need us to furnish the postcards, you can send them right now to the address in the graphic shown above. And if you’re active on social media, show the world your campus’s involvement with the hashtag #DearYoungPerson and tweeting @BBBSOCBR.

I have always believed that Maxient clients, much like our hometown of Charlottesville, are a community. Working together, we can stand up to bigotry and encourage our young people, helping make the future a more positive, inclusive place. I hope you will join us.


Aaron Hark, Co-Owner

Candice Hark