When I received permission to advertise our little Almanac/Catalog in a few Amish Magazines it was initially hoped that a few Amish families who had no access to Internet, TV, or radio would benefit from having some literature that answered the questions our local Amish seemed to struggle with. Very soon after the first ad ran, we started to receive letter upon letter with greetings, stories of everyday life, and a smattering of new questions that they wished to have answered in future editions.
By the end of the 4th year I had pen pals in 26 states and Canada. At this point we have received requests for information and products from an estimated 4,700+ homes. They are the most pleasant people I can imagine serving. Sometimes I receive letters from mothers who are afraid for a sick child while living in the middle of nowhere on a farm with no telephone. The letter in the attached picture is from an 82 year old Amish woman who takes care of a severely handicapped 52-year-old daughter on a farm where her daughter’s daily therapy includes milking their cow and collecting eggs from the chickens. Linda (age 52) is severely challenged, as dependent as a young child, and used to wake up several times a night crying for her elderly mother's attention until we figured out a new routine last year. Can you imagine her mother’s strength and grace at the age of 82? We have written back and forth many times and I often forget who is trying to encourage who. This woman does not know self pity. Many of the Amish will make their envelopes, not because they can’t afford envelopes, but because they repurpose everything and refuse to be wasteful. We have received countless envelopes fashioned from old calendar pages (a few surround the sample letter pictured). Email me your stories about contact you may have had with the Amish and any picture that you would like to share. We plan on including your inputs in future posts. Please give detail and whether or not you mind being identified by name without contact information. Feel free to ask questions too and we will do our best to answer. We look forward to your pictures and stories as time goes on. Also, thank you for your patience while we figure out this new platform. We have a lot of interesting content to add once we are confident that we are doing this correctly. Please share this with friends too. A portion of any revenue, raised by this project and the website, is already being donated back to the Amish to help when they meet with disaster. If you look closely at the pictured letter you will see evidence of what we are able to do as a result of this project. Ruth's son had a tragic fire a couple weeks before Christmas, which destroyed 2 farm buildings and several pieces of equipment. Because of the participation of people like youself, we were able to help assist in restoring and replacing what he, and his family had lost.
Send stories and pictures to: EthanHagen@AmishSolutions.com