A Teal Letter Day: UNCW Student Ambassadors Replace Beloved Beach Mailbox

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

For 11 years, tourists and locals alike left notes in a handmade mailbox on the northern end of Wrightsville Beach. When the mailbox was vandalized, hence putting a stop to the tradition, the UNCW Student Ambassadors took it upon themselves to install a new one.

Madison Page, an elementary education major who serves as the ambassadors' community service chair, says she read an article online about how the mailbox had been taken down. "I was really upset because I loved going down to read all the notes. It was a pleasant surprise for people to stumble across the mailbox when they had no idea what it was, which is how I personally discovered the mailbox a few years ago," she says.

Page presented the idea of replacing the mailbox as a project at an ambassadors' meeting. "After a lot of discussion, we decided to take on the responsibility and make it one of our legacies we leave behind."

Page and her dad went to the hardware store, purchased the materials and made the mailbox. In late April, a group of ambassadors went down to the beach and installed it.

"With social media becoming such a dominant force in society, the mailbox serves as a link to our past," says Page. "There's still something special about receiving a hand-written letter and when you go down to the mailbox, you have the opportunity to read letters from people that you may never have the opportunity to connect with in person."

Each month, members of the various Student Ambassador committees will check the mailbox, replace the notebook and pens and make any necessary repairs. The collected journals will be donated to the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, which also houses the original mailbox.