All the login info comes in your member welcome packet, which is mailed to you. The membership is sent via First Class mail and normally arrives within 3-5 days for U.S. members. The password is on the back of your card (opposite side of your membership number). You don't need your member number to login, but you do need it for postal projects, so hold on to it!
We don't keep an L.W.A. register! We don't want access to that kind of information. Your privacy is extremely important to us and we never want to be responsible for your information getting away from us. We also want you to be in control of your personal information and how much you participate in the Alliance, which is why all of our optional activities are on an opt-in basis.
You have to sign-up for the pen pal swap in order to get pals. You will be able to view the pen pal application once you log into the member site. We understand that not everyone wants any/more pen pals, so we don't automatically match you with people.
No problem! The pen pal swap is optional, not mandatory. It is something you need to sign-up for in order to get matched. If you change your mind later down the road, you can sign-up any time you wish, even if it is years after you first became a member.
1. You created an online account with us Even though you registered online with us, you won't be able to login to the member's items until you receive your membership kit in the mail. You need your membership number to participate in certain members-only projects, which you get in the mail with your kit.
2. You never created an online account with us That is totally cool. You have your login details are on the BACK of your membership card, which you get in the mail inside of your member kit. We consider the front the side that has your membership number stamped in red ink. The password will be text, not a number.
You don't need your member number to login, but you do need it for certain projects, so hold on to it.
We do not keep a record of your member number or your address in order to maintain your privacy. You can get a replacement card for $1. If you don't remember your member number, we will reassign you a new number.
There is no need to re-order a full membership kit if you lose your member card. You don't stop being a member if you lose your card; the membership is lifetime.
Pro-tip: Take a picture of your member card with your phone and you will always have a file of it.
Yes, you can sign-up fro the swap if you lost your card IF you remember your member number. You need a member number to sign-up for the swap. If you don't remember your membership number, order a replacement card for $1; we will reassign you a new number. Once you get your new card and membership number, you'll be able to sign-up for the swap again.
Yes, indeed you will have to wait for your Welcome Package to arrive in order to sign-up for pen pals. Your package has your member card in it, which has your membership number. The membership number is needed to place a pen pal request. I know what you are thinking: "Don't you have that in some big database?" No, we do not. We are hardcore about keeping our member's info private, so we do not keep a record or database of our member's info.
The world of letter writing is one of patience, which is why we love it so. In this current life of instant everything, sometimes we really enjoy the build-up in waiting for that *awesome thing* to arrive. We hope you think so to.
This is a hard question to answer because everyone's comfort zone is different. The swap is optional, so not all members are part of it. That being said, in the 11 years we have been doing this, we get about one complaint a year about odd pen pals. On average, Kathy matches about 2,000 people a year, so 1 out of 2,000 is pretty good odds. That being said, it is a bummer when you are that one. We can't guarantee that the person you are matched-up with won't be a weirdo, unfortunately. This is how all pen pal swaps are–it takes all kinds. If you want to join the swap but didn't want to share your home address you could use a work address (or the work address of a friend or relative) or get a PO Box. PO Boxes are priced quite cheaply and you would be supporting your post office.
In the end, it is all about what makes you comfortable. If you are not comfortable with sharing your home address and cannot use an alternative address, then doing a swap may not be for you. If you want to writer letters you can try starting a correspondence with people you know or going through an organization like a church/synagogue/religious center of choice.
I spend a lot of time matching everyone and there is always a reason why I match people up. If your interests don't seem to match up, there is most likely something they wrote in their form that was only to me (and not shared with you, the pen pal) that made me think you two would hit it off. I promise, just try a few letters with them and see what happens!
Sometimes your second pen pal won't get your info at the same time you get your pen pal match-up. They might not get your mailing info until two weeks after you get your email. There is also the chance your second pal is in a different country, which takes more time. Due to these possible factors, give your second pal 4-6 weeks before getting worried that they will never write. if you don't hear from them by then, email us or sign-up for the swap again.
This happens sometimes. Life gets in the way, mail gets lost, your pal didn't realize the time they had to put into writing back...there are a lot of reasons for not hearing back from your pal. Give your pal 6 weeks or so. If you don't hear from them after that time, write them a little "hello" post card to prod them. Make sure the post card has your return address on it! If you still don't hear from them after that, it is safe to say that correspondence is done.
Yeah, that happens in pen pal relationships. I see pen pals as going to a party. You are going to meet a lot of people, but you will only hit it off with a couple of people. There is nothing wrong with this. Just keep trying with more pen pals and eventually you will find some people you really click with.
Yay! You can request more pals anytime via the online form. All we ask is that you wait 6 weeks between requests, so you can give other members a chance at being matched up and so that you have some buffer between the new sets of mail.
Place any new requests for more pals via the online request form. Do not email your request. The online form puts your into a handy dandy spreadsheet for me that lets me match everyone one efficiently.