International Pen Friends Canada Commorates 500 Members

While many people are putting fingers to the keyboard and communicating in record speeds with friends across the globe via the Internet, you might just think the art of letter writing was dead. But youÂ?d be wrong. Just ask any of the thousands of people worldwide who join International Pen Friends (IPF) each year.

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(PRWEB) March 30, 2005

This year, International Pen Friends Canada has reached 500 Canadian Members who wish to unite the world through friendship, fun, and the written word. Our Canada Office is upbeat that we can encourage more Canadian’s to join IPF. We’ve also launched a NEW website which can be found at http://www.ipfcanada.meridian1.net/ .

While many people are putting fingers to the keyboard and communicating in record speeds with friends across the globe via the Internet, you might just think the art of letter writing was dead. But you’d be wrong. Just ask any of the thousands of people worldwide who join International Pen Friends (IPF) each year.

In 2002, Mr. Paul Griffin became the new IPF Agent for Canada. “I always wanted a pen friend or two. I heard about IPF through a friend and decided to join. I currently have 37 pen friends in over 20 countries. I have learned a lot about other cultures, people, and places,” said Paul Griffin. “Now I can, and more importantly, want to help others too.”

IPF was founded on April 7, 1967 by Neil O’Donnell from Dublin, Ireland. Neil’s vision was to give people in all age groups, from every country, the opportunity to make friends and promote world peace though sincere correspondence. Thirty-six years later that vision is still IPF’s major goal and its strength has resulted in IPF providing more than 1.5 million people aged 8-80+ with pen friends.

Today IPF is located a long way from its birthplace. On February 1, 2001 IPF moved to Australia when Neil O’Donnell retired and Julie Delbridge from Australia became IPF’s new President. Julie’s passion for the pen friend hobby is strong, having first joined IPF as a 19 year old in 1979 and being appointed the Australian Agent for the club in 1982.

“I’m still writing to three pen friends from the very first list of pen friends I received from IPF,” says Julie. “Hanni from Switzerland was on that list. Together with the hundreds of letters we exchanged over the years, Hanni and I have traveled in Australia from Kangaroo Island to the Outback during her five visits. I’ve also explored many mountains and chocolate delights of Switzerland with Hanni during my four visits.”

The pen friend hobby has many exciting dimensions. “I’m sure I wouldn’t have discovered as much of the world if not for the friends I’ve gained through IPF. It as an educational adventure of friendship and fun. Even though it’s very special to meet pen friends, the intrigue of writing to friends you may never meet is equally rewarding,” said Julie.

A great thing about IPF is that it is perfect year round. Individuals don’t require warm or cold weather. Many enjoy writing in the candlelight during winter, others enjoy reading received letters on the beach during summer. Also, IPF is totally self-funded by its members. It is not politically or religiously inspired since its goal to unite the world, regardless of political or religious differences.

IPF encourages members to use both e-mail and traditional letter writing. However, Julie and Paul both highlighted that despite the many forms of communication today, the most common feedback IPF received from members was how much they enjoyed receiving letters in their own mailbox.

IPF also publishes People & Places --- IPF’s International Magazine. This magazine keeps members in touch with IPF news. Plus, members enjoy reading pen pal articles submitted by pen pal members like themselves. They will also learn about writing tips, see photographs of other members, and read poems from members. It also includes our IPF Club's activities. Members find that the People & Places subscription enhances their pen pal experience.

There are so many benefits to an IPF membership: enriching friendships, fun, enhanced writing skills, cultural learning and understanding, current events, and much much more.

IPF also has a school service. Teachers/Coaches can enroll their students/youth group in our Special School Class Service for School Classes, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts and ALL Youth Groups aged 7 - 18 years. There is a minimal fee (usually paid for by parents or school boards). As a Teacher or Coach, their students can ENJOY international correspondence

“It is hard to match the anticipation of waiting for letters to arrive, the stamps, postmarks, fancy writing paper, postcards, photos, tokens of friendship, the time and care people have taken to write the letters, sitting quietly and reading the letters time and time again, and possibly keeping them for many years as part of personal history. It is also great to receive something in the mail other than bills or junk mail,” said Julie.

“I still have my first pen friend letters from Marie and Pius. IPF shows what a caring world we really do live in,” said Paul. “I have become so close to these international friends that when I hear their is a flood or earthquake or another natural disaster, I become very worried for them and their families. I can’t wait to meet some of them during my life!”

IPF relies heavily on advertisements for publicity, usually through the media conducting a story about IPF. I hope your media outlet would be interested in assisting IPF Canada - I would be delighted to be contacted for an interview.

Sincerely,

Paul Griffin

IPF Canadian Agent

(403) 835-6368

griffinpaul@shaw.ca

http://www.ipfcanada.meridian1.net/

International Pen Friends

Canada Office

2912 Brentwood Boulevard

Calgary AB T2L 1J5

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