What is The Yellow Envelope?

210-336-yePlagued by anxiety and a persistent feeling that there was more to life than paychecks and mortgages, my husband and I decided to uproot our lives and travel around the world. Just before our departure in May 2012, friends gave us an unexpected gift that shaped our adventures: a yellow envelope containing a check and instructions to give the money away to those we encountered on our journey.

My forthcoming book, The Yellow Envelope (Sourcebooks, 2017), tells the story of this gift, the people we met along the way, and the lessons we learned about the transformative power of kindness and giving.

What is The Yellow Envelope Project?

In November 2016, I asked blog readers if I could mail them a yellow envelope. The only rule? They had to use their yellow envelope to commit a random act of kindness. The response was incredible. Within four days, I ran out of envelopes. Then a reader donated money to fund 50 more. A few days later another reader donated money to fund an additional 60. Since it’s inception in mid-November, 2016, we’ve mailed yellow envelopes to 37 states and 23 countries.

And then…

Readers started emailing to say that they’d purchased their own yellow envelopes and were distributing them with love. A former kindergarten teacher in Washington State gave 110 to the kindergartners at her school. A fellow traveler sent out 80+ yellow envelopes with her holiday cards.

I estimate that nearly 600 random acts of kindness have been unleashed upon the world in yellow envelopes… and we’re just getting started!

AR | AZ | CA | CO| GA | HI | IA | ID | IL | IN | KY | LA | MA | ME | MD | MI | MN | MO | MT | NC | ND | NE | NJ | NY | OH | OR | PA | SC | TN | TX | UT | VA | VT | WA | Washington, DC | WI | WV |

Australia | Canada | Colombia | Croatia | Finland | France | Germany | Holland | India | Kuwait | New Zealand | Nicaragua | Philippines | Portugal | Saudi Arabia | Slovenia | South Africa | South Korea | Spain | Switzerland | United Arab Emirates | United Kingdom | United States |

Let me send you a yellow envelope!
Do you want to join this campaign of kindness? Email your address to kim.somanyplaces@gmail.com and I will send you an envelope! I try to get your envelope out to you within the week, but please be patient as I hand-stuff each envelope with the help of my assistant:


Once you’ve received your envelope, please use it to pay it forward in some way. Write a note to someone you love and hand it to them in the envelope, mail a donation to a non-profit that you support, stuff a gift card inside and give it to a stranger… the possibilities are endless. The only rule is that the envelope must be used as a vehicle for kindness.

Follow The Yellow Envelope Facebook Page to share your story or to read stories from those that have given away, or received, a yellow envelope.

Thank you to these generous donors that have helped cover the cost of envelopes and postage:
Patti Maghamfar
Ajay Kattige
Liz Zelandais
Kris Dahl
Kathie Sell