Shirley Bieri was one of more than 300 participants from Silver Spring’s Leisure World, a private, age-restricted community with about 8,500 residents.
Bieri, a Leisure World resident for 28 years, said she wrote about 10 postcards per day since the Obama Postcard Project began in April.
“I actually made it part of my everyday life,” she said. “I would sit down every day and write a certain number so that I’d reach my goal of 1,000, and then I ran over.”
Bieri said she wrote “quite a bit” in each postcard, including messages about women’s rights, fair taxes and other issues.
As a team leader, Bieri said she not only worked with other residents in her building, but people she danced with as well.
Even though she is done writing postcards, she said she plans to “keep my mouth going.”
“We’ve still got a way to go,” she said. “We’ve still got to work.”
Peggy Capozzi, also a team leader in the project and a resident, said she helped recruit individuals, and although some people were hesitant, many responded positively.
Capozzi said she thinks a postcard has “a personal note to it” and many residents are not fans of political phone calls or repeated requests for funds.
“This is a way of reaching out to people that most people seem to be receptive to,” she said.
Each card was supposed to include the message to vote for Obama and Democrats in the Senate and House, but card writers were able to include a personal touch as well.
“Our cards are really revealing about all of us, all the people who wrote them,” said Martha Robinson, the project’s leader and creator who was involved in a similar, though smaller, project in 2008 directed toward Virginia swing districts.
The original goal of 100,000 postcards turned out to be a bit high, but Robinson said 30,000 cards already had been distributed to participants by early June, prompting additional orders.
Robinson, also a Leisure World resident, said she considered Tuesday — the day she planned to send out the last batch of 250 cards — the project’s final day.
“It takes a long time to write these cards,” she said.
A writing marathon during the Democratic National Convention helped boost the total, and as the election has neared, Robinson said she saw “a thrill” and “a spark” among the project’s participants.
“I have not seen one [postcard project] on this scale at all,” she said.
Robinson said she realized that postcards were a good way to allow residents to “participate heavily” and could activate a lot of people.