Orono High School Senior, Grace Berbig began Letters of Love Club last October at Orono High School. After her mom passed away at the age of 10 from cancer she was inspired to help people who are going through similar battles to what her mom experienced. She loves children and got the idea of create a club where students have the opportunity to emotionally support children battling cancer or other illnesses. She wanted to make a difference and wanted other people to have the opportunity to make a difference regardless of their financial situation; a way teenagers can help without having to make a financial contribution. She started the club at Orono High School in October and now has over 500 members. She has started branches in 19 other schools in Minnesota and is in the process of beginning clubs in five other states as well as five countries.
On January 31 the first Letters of Love Gala occurred at the Profile Event Center in Minneapolis. It was a gala organized by teenagers, for teenagers. There were live bands, teen vendors, but the main focus was the goal to give every child in the Children’s Hospital of Minnesota emotional support; that every child knows that there is a team rooting for them. There were stations for making cards, tie blankets, and friendship bracelets, there was also a toy drive and silent auction to raise funds for the Children’s Hospital.
Grace said “We had 350 teens from all around Minnesota attend, it was absolutely amazing. We had three former patients from the hospital who spoke about their journey, which was such an honor. Over 500 cards were made, blankets for every baby in the nic-u, and 50 friendship bracelets.
The night was extremely humbling and surreal; every person there was amazed and so excited to help make cards and other means of emotional support for the patients at Children’s.
We are in the process of making Letters of Love an official non-profit organization as well, which is very exciting! We also have 20 clubs around Minnesota, and next year we will have clubs around the U.S and other countries as well.”