Natalie Reilly and her mother came up with the idea for ‘Nothing But Love Notes’ in February 2016. Natalie’s mother had recently been diagnosed with cancer and was finishing up her chemotherapy. In an effort to bring a little light to both their lives, Natalie and her mother came up with a simple concept that would spread kindness in their community. On the ‘Nothing But Love Notes’ website, Natalie writes, “Together, we reignited the old tradition of handwriting Love Notes to our heroes–veterans, law enforcement officers, firefighters and the like. It didn’t take us long to realize we were onto something special!”
Around two years ago, Natalie’s mother passed away. While her death was heartbreaking, Natalie shares about the joy and passion that she and her mother were able to experience together during her mother’s final days as a result of their work together. In an article by Chris Hoyer, for Oside News, Natalie explained that serving first responders and seeing the impact a simple act of kindness can have brought a smile back to her mother’s face.
The ‘Nothing But Love Notes’ Impact
Natalie and her mother’s shared legacy lives on today through the official organization, ‘Nothing But Love Notes.’ And so does their dream of “spreading love to our best and bravest, those who have shown courage, love and compassion to our country and community in the most selfless and essential of ways…”
To date, Natalie has handed out over 20,000 love notes to first responders. The support and community that has grown around her since the founding of ‘Nothing But Love Notes’ has been awe-inspiring. Countless people have reached out seeking ways to get involved. Others have contacted Natalie to share her story and speak at their schools or events. More beautiful still is the gratitude that Natalie has been flooded with from recipients of her love notes. Here are some responses from first responders taken from the ‘Nothing But Love Notes’ website:
“Hey, my name is Chris and you guys left a note on my car the other day. That particular day was a really hard day for me and I was feeling pretty low. Your note made my day and brought me back up to where I wanted to be. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your kindness and thoughtfulness. People like you are the reason I am proud to have been able to serve my country, and people like you are the reason I am continuing to pursue a public service career. Thank you for what you are doing. I mean that from the very bottom of my heart. Thank you.” ~Chris O., Veteran
“Natalie: It was 10:45 or later Monday morning when I walked out of my psychiatrist’s office after 45 minutes of an emotionally draining session. I found myself in the lobby (I don’t know why.) When you came into the VA Center in Anthem, AZ, you said something nice to me and handed me a card and then left. I didn’t take much notice of what you handed me at first but sitting in my car I opened the little envelope with pretty stars on it and removed one of the largest gifts I have ever received. Your thank-you note was so touching that I sat and cried for 155 minutes before I could even drive. Just noticing it on the table still brings me to tears (of emotional release) almost a week later. I never heard anything like that during the Nam war, quite the contrary! Again, thank you so much! God bless you.” ~Don I., Veteran
Changing the World With Kindness
We are so grateful for the kindness we see on a daily basis around the world. Organizations like ‘Nothing But Love Notes’ are proof of the simplicity of kindness, and the impact it can have on both the giver and the receiver. Together, we truly can change the world. Thank you for all you have done, and continue to do for the community, Natalie!