San Diego

Your Corner: Ramona Woman Sends Letters of Hope to Strangers

A Ramona woman is leaving hope taped to random places

Hundreds of little notes have been taped in random places around San Diego, and the words written on those notes are exactly what some people need to hear.

The notes are being left anonymously.

The front of the envelopes read: "If you find this card, it belongs to you. Go ahead, open me."

Inside are messages of hope, inspiration, and reminders to never give up.

The writer has been anonymous, until now.

NBC 7 tracked down Shannon Wasser, the Ramona resident responsible for the acts of kindness.

“So, I’ve probably done at least 1,000 [letters] -- I mean, easy," she said. "Hopefully, what I’m doing is making someone else’s day better."

Wasser calls her task "hope drops."

She started leaving the letters about a year-and-a-half ago.

She’ll tape them to gas pumps, bus benches, restaurant tables, phone booths, and pretty much anywhere the mood strikes her. 

“I can’t explain how I know where to do it. I just stop,” she said. “I just sit there for a second and take a breath. I get out the card out, and I say, 'Okay, what are we doing?'"

Wasser said her faith is a big part of why she does this, but she rarely writes about God in the cards.

“I just want them to feel encouraged,” she said.

She also never sticks around to see who picks up the cards, just trusts that they get into the right hands.

And, on at least a couple of occasions, they have.

NBC 7 tracked down some of the people who’ve found them, including Crystal Turk, who found her note taped to a tree outside a Walmart.

“I read it belonged to me, so I took it,” said Turk. “It means a lot that people care.”

Turk said the words of encouragement came at a good time for her, and her husband. He’s been incarcerated since 2004, and she’s hoping he’ll be out in the next year or two.

“We’ve hit a few bumps in the road on his journey home, and just this week it hit me pretty hard," she said. "Getting the note of encouragement saying 'never give up hope' is just what I needed.”

Kris Michelle also found one of the notes at a Starbucks, and also needed a little encouragement.

“At that moment when I saw the card, I was going through things that I didn’t have answers for. My husband was having an affair,” said Michelle.

She thinks that what Wasser is doing to spread the love is amazing.

“She’s genuinely looking into people’s soul and trying to make them better people, and I think that’s phenomenal.”

“I just want people to know they’re seen,” Wasser said, of her mission.

Wasser is now married, and a mother of three, but she remembers a darker time in her life when she needed some encouragement.

She said from the age of 13 to 16, she had drug problems and was in and out of group homes, and juvenile hall.

“I basically did everything I could to destroy myself,” she recalled.

As she continues to make her "hope drops," she uses the hashtag #HopeSent on social media.

She said other people have started doing the same thing, even reaching out to ask her to send them blank cards, which she does, for free.

Wasser isn't in this for money. She just wants the word to spread.

“I’m not hoping to get anything out of it,” she said. “Mostly, I just hope that other people would do it.”

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