We’re a nonprofit that provides biographers for seniors (with a special emphasis on those with Alzheimer’s/dementia) and mentors young writers.
Each memory is given special care. First, our young writers listen. They ask questions. They listen some more. They ask more questions. They take notes.
Next, using their notes, the memory is re-imagined as a short narrative scene.
The scene is inscribed on a custom postcard (often with a photo or original artwork).
The postcards are sent to the participant’s family and archived in the vault at the Free Library of Philadelphia, so they’ll never be lost.
Since 2009 we’ve archived thousands of postcards via our workshops, Memory Stations (where we interview strangers in public spaces), cross-country tours, and school programs.
We’ve presented our innovative program with such distinguished partners as The Mayo Clinic, The Alzheimer’s Association, The Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease at UCSF, and more.
In 2013, we built a custom Memory Postcard Generator so that anyone, anywhere in the world can create digital Memory Postcards and send them to their friends, family, and future generations.
Is SBYF a certified 501c3 nonprofit?
I’m new here. Where should I start?
The SBYF storybook.
How does your Online Memory Library work? Is it free?
Our online Memory Library, like all our favorite libraries, is totally public and totally free. When you publish a Memory Postcard, anyone, anywhere in the world can read and “borrow” your memory…which is exactly the point.
I want to create SBYF Memory Postcards, but I don’t want to make them public, how do I do that?
Simple. Just sign up and go through the postcard creation process, like usual. But here’s the important part: don’t hit “Publish.” Your private, unpublished postcards will be saved in your “drafts.” You can access and print them anytime, but no one else will be able to see them.
Can I make Memory Postcards with my school or residents?
Here’s our Toolkit for Teachers.
I mailed in an SBYF postcard a while ago, when it was a mail-in project, what became of it?
All postcards received before November, 2013 have been archived in the vault at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
I am acting as a Scribe for someone else. Do I write in the first person or the third person?
All SBYF memories are written in the first person. So if you’re interviewing someone, you have to write the memory from their point of view. This may feel a little strange at first…and it’s supposed to. You’re taking someone else’s memory, filtering it through your imagination, and giving it back to them. You’re remembering TOGETHER. It’s a shared experience.
And remember, as a Scribe, it’s YOUR responsibility to obtain permission before archiving a Memory Postcard. If we are notified of postcards published in our library without permission, we will remove them and your account may be suspended. (Report a concern here.)
How is SBYF funded?
We’re funded by sales of the SBYF book (100% of proceeds donated) and by kind individuals who believe in our process and our mission.
Please consider making a donation today.
I have a really cool idea for a partnership, or an innovative way we’re using SBYF in our community, or a different question. How do I contact you?