Local Resident Becky Moore Launches Pen Pal Agency
Photographer / Amy Payne
One of the best aspects of foreign travel is meeting people of different nationalities. Due to coronavirus-related restrictions, such experiences aren’t always possible these days.
However, Becky Moore has an answer. She recently started Write Moore Letters, a U.S. agency for Australia-based International Pen Friends. It facilitates pen pal matchups so people of all ages can develop a relationship with someone from a different country without leaving home.
Moore became a pen pal enthusiast when she was 13 years old. She was attending middle school in Center Grove when her study hall teacher, who had a pen pal from England, offered the class the chance to exchange letters with British students. That experience led to years of enjoyment as she received letters from faraway places.
“It is my passion, my favorite thing,” Moore says. “I’m embarrassed to say I have 50 pen pals. I only hear from some about two times a year, but there are about 20 of them that I get a letter from once a month. I have so many of my own, I had to stop. Now I can help others get pen pals so they can enjoy it too.”
Due to the coronavirus crisis, Moore found herself in a position start a pen pal agency. She was working in the hotel industry as an event planner when she was laid off in the midst of the government-mandated business shutdowns. Suddenly, she found herself beginning a business she had dreamed about in the past.
“When I was young, I went through a company that would send these little blue coupon books with pen pal names,” Moore says. “I remember it was magical. One of my very first pen pals sent me some Nottingham lace. I used to daydream about having a pen pal store for children and adults.”
Moore began using the services of International Pen Friends about five years ago.
“On their website they had a blurb about becoming an agent for their company,” she says. “Since I had the time, I pursued it. I had to learn how to create a website, which I did this summer through a free online class offered to graduates of the University of Evansville.”
International Pen Friends has provided more than one million people of all ages with pen pals for the past 53 years. The organization’s membership database is internal and is not on the internet, so it can’t be hacked. There are packages available for different numbers of pen pals, and prices range from $25 to $45.
“Over the years I’ve had some great experiences,” Moore says. “One pen pal from New Zealand recorded a message that was played at my wedding. I actually met another when she came to visit her son who was an exchange student at Southport High School.”
Moore says there are multiple benefits to being a pen pal.
“It develops patience because when you mail letters, it does take a while,” she says. “You learn about another country, government and culture. If you can speak another language, it opens up what countries you can request. It can help someone learning another language. It’s a great tool for foreign language classes.”
Visit ipf-writemooreletters.com for more information, and email questions to email@example.com.