I did a story on this project, focusing on the music component, back in January (read it elsewhere on this blog and here: tinyurl.com/7vcy7dt). I'm glad to see the book finally get a much-deserved national release.
A close-knit group of award-winning singer/songwriters in San Diego have turned four real-life letters into a book, album, and concert event benefitting causes chosen by the letter senders. For The Sender: Four letters. Twelve songs. One story. will be released by Hay House on Sept. 18.
The voices of Grammy-winning bands Switchfoot and Nickel Creek, and platinum-selling New Found Glory, are among those singing the songs inspired by the real-life letters from four women. A first-responder in Haiti, the widow of a fallen police officer, the director of a children's homeless shelter, and a woman who lost her soulmate sent their stories to singer-songwriter Alex Woodard, who was so moved by their letters that he recruited his close-knit group of musician friends to write and record songs about the letters.
Woodard found the themes from the letters so universal that he wove his own story of loss and redemption into a book with the lyrics, letters, and backstories. He called the project For The Sender, based on a lyric from the album's title track that suggests a letter is written more for the sender than the receiver.
This for the sender theme runs through the project and is reflected in the donation of a portion of the proceeds to causes chosen by the senders of the letters, including the Stand Up for Kids homeless shelter in Oceanside, CA and the WeAdvance women's clinic in Haiti.
"I spent so many years writing about myself, trying to 'make it', knocking on every door I could and asking people to listen to me," says Woodard, "Making an album and writing a book that was more for the senders than myself was like walking into a bright, airy, beautiful room that had been in my house for years, but I always just walked past. And when I traveled around playing these songs for the letter senders, there was a clear, direct channel between the song and the listener who inspired it. I'd never experienced anything like that before--so I slowly let go of my own agenda to let this project evolve and take shape."
New York Times bestselling author and spiritual leader Deepak Chopra has praised For The Sender, saying "Alex Woodard's For The Sender radiates with love and is a beautiful tribute to the resilience of the human spirit."
Dr. Wayne Dyer, also a renowned spiritual teacher, called For The Sender "a beautifully written book with a powerful message" and will be appearing in conjunction with Alex at publisher-sponsored events.
For The Sender had sold out every show in Woodard’s hometown of San Diego when Hay House, the largest motivational and inspirational publisher in the world, approached him about publishing the book.