(NEW YORK) — When Abbi Jacobson opened her mailbox a few months ago, she found a rusted yellow letter that had been written in 1944. The letter was opened and had been addressed to a Mr. and Mrs. Joseph O. Matthews, who had once lived in the same New York City apartment that Jacobson now occupied.
“I knew it was obviously old and when I started reading it, I realized it was a very sweet love letter from World War II,” Jacobson, 29, told ABC News.
Not knowing what to do with it, she began a search for the couple the old-fashioned way, on foot.
“At first, I didn’t want to use the Internet to find them, so I went to the municipal archives and visited a few libraries near my Greenwich Village apartment,” Jacobson said.
But after a few months of no luck, she took to the Internet, displaying her story on the Lost Letter Project’s website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
Jacobson said she dreamed of finding the couple and sharing this gift with them. But little did she know that she’d be helped by a number of people from across the country.
“A number of people contacted me online who were willing to help,” she said. “There was a woman Meg from Denmark who contacted me on Twitter, who I believe was a cousin.”
And after making a number of connections, Jacobson finally was put in contact with the son of the Matthews, Scott Matthews, a New York City architect, 67.
“It was so awesome that this letter connected so many different people together, searching for the couple, and then finding their family,” Jacobson said.
Mr. and Mrs. Matthews are no longer alive, but their son, who hasn’t seen the letter yet, was thrilled by the discovery.
“It’s very interesting,” Matthews told the New York Post. “I don’t know much about my dad’s life before I was born. I wonder what he was feeling about shipping out [for war].
“You wonder what happened to it and what did the Postal Service do with it,” he said.
Matthews and Jacobson hope to meet soon.
“They’re my parents’ age and we spoke for an hour on the phone the other night,” Jacobson said. “They couldn’t believe it.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Steve Almasy, CNN
Eric Bradner, CNN