Reporting Gigi Barnett
COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — A mother’s plea for help echoes around the world. Now, one Columbia family is swamped with “Letters for Noah.”
As Gigi Barnett reports, the cards and well wishes are designed to end bullying.
In the last week, Karen Brocklebank’s living room has been besieged with letters, cards and packages. Every single one is addressed to her 13-year-old son, Noah.
“Dear Noah, let me just dive right into it,” a writer said.
Brocklebank says she asked for the letters. She wanted to encourage her 7th-grade son. He was being bullied mercilessly at school, then the taunts and teases moved to the Internet and video games Noah and his brother Owen often play with other kids at school.
“You can’t escape it and I think bullies are more cowardly now. They do things that they would never do face-to-face,” Brocklebank said.
Then last month, she learned that Noah was cutting himself and had posted a suicide note online. Brocklebank needed to do something–fast.
“I put it out there. I was desperate. It was a survival plea,” she said.
“She came up with the idea in her head to have her friends send encouragement to me to make me feel better,” Noah said.
And they passed the cry for help along to thousands of others–just in time for Noah’s 13th birthday last week.
Noah has a favorite letter–it’s from his 4th-grade teacher.
“He told me how he went through that and how amazing I was,” he said.
The letters for Noah have come from all over the world, including Korea and as far away as Australia. The family says it hasn’t taken an official tally of just how many letters pack into their living room. But one thing is for sure, they don’t want them to end.
“The world is truly amazing if you past the dark side of it,” Noah said.
While the “Letters for Noah” seem to be working, health care workers say it may not for every child. They encourage parents to call prevention helplines when they find out that a loved one could take their life.