Some times I write a letter of encouragement to a friend or someone I barely know.
Perhaps I should preface this: If I work with you, you are off limits. It's my don't crap where you eat rule. I've broken it a few times, but looking back I can say its a good rule to follow.
There was this young girl who ran the register at my work. We had barely said greetings to one another. She was sweet, pretty and an all around ray of sunshine. One day the rumor mill went into high gear. She'd had a stroke. Yes, they can happen in young twenty somethings. I felt a kindred spirit with her because I knew what it was like fighting back from a serious injury like that. I won't divulge personal details here, but I let her know that this wasn't the end of her world. That there would be a ray of light coming in at the end of the tunnel. I let her know that she wasn't alone in her ordeal and people like her go on to lead happy productive lives. Most of all, I let her know that I was there to listen if she needed someone to talk to.
When she did come back to work, she went out of her way to thank me. She told me how much my letter helped and encouraged her to get back on the horse... to rejoin life.
After that, we remained friends. Said our greetings and told each other stories about how we overcame our difficulties. She no longer works at Lowe's, but I hope she is continuing to find what she seeks.