Gabriella Hu ‘21, shares the power of bringing people together through handwritten letters.
This summer 25 students were accepted in the CSGC grants program. These grants are funded due to the generous support of the Cost, Earle/Mendillo and Workman families, who established endowment funds to support the community and public service endeavors of future generations of Deerfield students. For more information on these grants please visit: https://deerfield.edu/csgc/grants
Kind Words USA has had the opportunity to do so many more things that are amazing since I started it this spring. As of August, we have sent over 1,300 cards to hospitals and homeless shelters across the nation. Over the summer, we started a volunteer program to help students earn service hours while in quarantine. The volunteer program offered a chance for students to earn service hours, from the safety of their own homes, by making and sending cards to hospitals and homeless shelters. The program started with just a few Deerfield students and has since grown to over 50 individuals from all over the US. Through the volunteer program, we have partnered with universities such as Fordham and Pace as an on-campus activity for the students to partake in. We also worked with All Abilities, a nonprofit that empowers people of all abilities through art. When they were allowed to meet in person, the participants sent us 60 cards for hospitalized children. Beyond the volunteer program expansion, we also began to reach a wider audience with our cards.
As the team began to brainstorm who else needed our help during the pandemic, homeless shelters were our first thought. We have partnered with countless other student-lead initiatives, including Mariposa Masks, Stem 4 Free, Life’s Little things, Glo Help, and Distant Together, in order to bring our cards to homeless shelters. Our cards have gone to shelters along with food, masks, and toiletries, and have brought hundreds of smiles to people’s faces. During the month of June, we celebrated pride month by sending cards to New Alternatives, a homeless shelter for LGBTQ+ youth. For July, we started to send cards to hospitalized patients across America. Some Deerfield faculty and their children became involved in this portion and contributed some beautiful cards that we forwarded on to hospitalized kids.
As school starts back and all of our board members become busier, we hope to continue the work of Kind Words USA. The work that we are able to do is incredibly important to bring people together and bring smiles to people’s faces. I hope that people never forget the value of mailing someone a hand-written letter. Last, I would like to say another huge thank you to the CSGC, the Earle family, and the Mendillo family for making this entire opportunity possible for me!