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Letters of Love generates over 1,000 cards for kids battling cancer

Carly+Halstead%2C+a+freshman+studying+kinesiology+and+health%2C+writes+words+of+encouragement+in+a+hand-made+card+at+the+Greetings+from+Greenlee%3A+A+Letters+of+Love+Event+2023+Nov.+28+in+the+Memorial+Union+Great+Hall.
Katelyn Squiers
Carly Halstead, a freshman studying kinesiology and health, writes words of encouragement in a hand-made card at the Greetings from Greenlee: A Letters of Love Event 2023 Nov. 28 in the Memorial Union Great Hall.

Over 1,000 hand-made cards for kids battling cancer and other serious illnesses were produced at the Greetings from Greenlee: Letters of Love event Tuesday.

Letters of Love highlighted the power of small acts, inviting the Ames community to stop by the Memorial Union Great Hall to craft quality heartfelt cards that could be delivered to patients in various children’s hospitals.

Participants had access to tables full of markers, crayons, colored construction paper and stickers to create as many cards as desired. Aside from a few guidelines to avoid phrases such as “get well soon” or “Merry Christmas,” participants had the freedom to write and design whatever they wanted.

Kaitlyn Christ, a junior studying biology, drew a turtle on one of her cards and wrote “You’re turtle-y awesome.” Christ’s friend, Jordan Pray, a junior in elementary education, designed a similarly-themed card, which featured a strawberry saying “You are berry awesome.”

Christ and Pray decided to attend the event together after Pray saw information about it on a friend’s Instagram story. Both said they enjoyed making cards and hope to attend similar events in the future. 

“I’m so happy we stopped by because I just think the whole concept is really cute,” Pray said. 

The Advertising and Public Relations Learning Community hosted the event in partnership with the Letters of Love (LOL) Iowa State Chapter. 

A group service project is part of the curriculum for the Advertising and Public Relations Learning Community. In previous years, the class has worked on projects relating to food insecurity and mental health. This semester’s students chose to host a LOL event. 

LOL is a global organization that aims to support children with cancer, by sending them handmade cards to remind them that they are well-loved and never alone. LOL has individual chapters in nearly 100 high schools and 75 colleges, and they donate their cards to more than 30 hospitals. 

“From the feedback we’ve gotten, we are the primary provider of emotional support for a number of hospitals,” said Brooke Wooley, president of the LOL Iowa State chapter and a junior studying kinesiology and health. “Bringing a smile to these kids’ faces and being able to make someone feel a little bit better even when they’re in a tough situation, I think that’s powerful.” 

Hannah Gossman, a junior studying advertising and a peer mentor for the learning community, helped the two groups team up. As an active LOL member, Gossman said her involvement with both groups helped form a partnership for the event.

Joanna Schroeder, assistant teaching professor, said she added a service component to the class’s curriculum two years ago because it can increase students’ excitement for their career field and encourage them to be actively engaged.

“I think one of the things I like the most is also that doing these social service learning projects for nonprofits helps [students] be more active in social justice,” Schroeder said. “It helps them be more open to diverse groups of people, and helps them open the door to other perspectives.” 

To bring the service project to life, students spearheaded the entire planning process, which involved creating advertisements, designing posters and communicating with sponsors. By the end of the event, the class of 26 first-year students had created, planned and executed a full marketing campaign. 

“These are some of the kindest, most giving students I’ve ever had,” Schroeder said. “They are talented, hardworking and crazy creative…I can’t stress enough how proud I am of these students, and I’m really excited because what they are demonstrating right now is how effective they’re going to be when they graduate.” 

Letters from the event will be sent to the LOL headquarters in Long Lake, Minnesota. From there, they will be delivered to patients in various children’s hospitals to share an extra boost of love and support from the Ames community.

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    Jeanne Rogert | Dec 1, 2023 at 8:23 am

    This is fabulous and needs to be printed in the Iowa stater magazine. If you need $$ next year please contact me.

    Reply