Toby Little must never have heard the phrase “don’t talk to strangers” because he has written over 1,000 letters to strangers in every country for the last five years.
The now 9-year-old English boy got the idea after reading a children’s book called Letter to New Zealand, which describes what happens to mail once it’s sent. Since he began his project four years ago, he has received 462 replies from people worldwide.
“When I was five, I decided that I wanted to find out lots about the world, so I started writing letters to somebody in every country in the world,” says Toby. “I started the project because I wanted to find out more about the world, help people understand each other better, and make the world a better place – and I still do! It’s really tricky to find people in every country, but lots of people have been helping me.”
The lad is not only articulate – he’s also quite empathetic towards his pen pals.
Toby and his mother Sabine read up on every country that they write to so they can think of questions to ask the recipient. When Toby read about some of the plights natives face in smaller country, he wanted to help.
The young writer is currently trying to raise money for ShelterBox: a charity that focuses on getting aid to those in need by delivering necessary equipment like shelter, tools, blankets, a stove, cooking utensils, water purification, and small gifts for children.
You can read Toby’s letters here or check out his Writing to the World website and Facebook page. You can also check out his book titled Dear World, How Are You?