Hello! My name is Kendal Brenneman.

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, I headed west for Los Angeles when I was 18 to pursue a career as an actress. After many years of background work, stand-in work, auditions, short films and sunshine, I had started an online business that seemed stable enough to allow me to see more of the world. Los Angeles had so much… but were there castles and the promise of home-ownership? 

I first started spending time in France, and now find myself in the Netherlands. Still self-employed and still pursuing creative dreams, I stumbled upon yet another curious past-time that I simply couldn’t say no to.


In early 2020, I purchased an old diary on eBay with the intention of reading it on my YouTube channel, which focuses on vintage lifestyle topics. I had no idea that it would lead to another purchase, and another, and another… Reading these simple accounts of everyday life in times gone by was captivating. Of course I wondered who these people were, and started digging for names and clues until I could identify them. I’ve always loved a good mystery to be solved! At first it was for my own curiosity, but then I realized that these people could have family who are still around. Perhaps not people who actually knew the writers, but family nonetheless. And maybe they weren’t aware that these old family diaries were out there. So I decided to take it upon myself to bring these diaries home, and that’s how The Lost Diary Project began.

I had to decide how to go about this mission, and what I settled on was creating a Buy Me A Coffee page where I can share videos of myself reading from the diaries, and PDF scans of each diary for research and preservation purposes. My YouTube channel would quickly be overrun by diary readings if I chose to read them all there, and I didn’t want to do that. I also wanted to create a little bit of privacy for these people and not have every reading be so public. If I was going to share them, I wanted to create a closed community, a safe space for our dear writers and those of us who want to help them find their way home. So I created a membership page where I could offer readings (of these sometimes very difficult to decipher diaries!!) and pdf scans in exchange for a few dollars to help fund the rescue of the diaries.

The demand for interesting old diaries seems to be very high, which means the prices can get very high as well. I have spent between $25 to $350 for a single diary. I’m limited as one person as to how much I can spend, how many I can buy. And I hope to reach a point where I can earn enough through Buy Me A Coffee to return diaries without requesting to be reimbursed for what I spent on them. I would feel much better being able to rescue diaries and give them to their families free of charge. I’m very excited about this project. I’ve already made my first return and the family is so thrilled. I’m so happy to have done something so meaningful for one family, and I look forward to doing it for many more. I hope you’ll join me!