March 21, 2024

‘It feels really good and fulfilling’

NDSU’s chapter of Letters of Love student organization allows students to create handmade greeting cards with heartfelt messages to help uplift hospitalized children in the community. 

NDSU’s chapter is part of Letters of Love Global, an international non-profit organization that provides emotional support to patients in children’s hospitals across the world. The organization started in 2018, with its first meeting being held in Orono, Minnesota. Letters of Love Global now has 173 active clubs, 99 of which are in high schools and 74 are in colleges.  

Ava Krekelberg, the president of Letters of Love at NDSU, said she was involved in her high school’s chapter, which inspired her to start the organization on campus in 2022 with the help of Samantha Tate, the club’s vice president. The club meets once a month at night to provide flexibility for more students to join. 

“I’m super busy and I know a lot of students here who have classes and work are super busy, but they also want to be involved in something,” said Krekelberg, a senior psychology major from Prior Lake, Minnesota. “And so a once-a-month club that actually makes a difference is really great to have here.”  

Since its start, Krekelberg said there have been a lot of students interested in attending the meetings. 

“We’ve definitely seen a lot of interest in the club and we see a lot of new faces every month and a lot of returning, which is awesome,” she said.

Around 200 cards are made during each meeting. The cards are then sent to Letters of Love Global, whose staff gives each card an official sticker, and then distributes them to the children’s hospital closest to the university. In Fargo, Sanford Children’s Hospital receives the cards.

Knowing that each card is going to a child in the community makes Krekelberg happy. She said it’s reminiscent of when she made Valentine’s cards for her classmates in elementary school.  

“I just know how much it means to get a handwritten card or to just see that people outside your care team are showing you appreciation, and that’s just heartwarming,” she said. “Especially seeing people that come to this club every month and how they get excited, ask questions and really put detail into it. It feels really good and fulfilling.”  

Other student organizations also have expressed interest in collaborating with NDSU’s Letters of Love. NDSU’s Saddle and Sirloin, along with Kappa Delta and Delta Tau Delta collaborated to help make holiday-themed cards last semester. 

NDSU’s chapter holds two fundraisers each year to raise money, which goes directly to Letters of Love Global to fund the craft supplies and mailing fees. 

Krekelberg said she sees a lot of NDSU students volunteering on campus.  

“Through myNDSU I see so many other organizations that either do philanthropy or just try to get everybody involved in different volunteer activities,” she said. “I feel like a lot of the organizations on campus are good at spreading the word about how to get involved in these things. We get so many messages and if you speak with somebody one-on-one, they get really excited about getting involved with anything volunteer-wise. We have a really good community.” 

The Letters of Love meetings are open to all students. Supplies are provided to make the cards, along with snacks for students to enjoy while crafting. Anyone interested in learning more can find additional information, including when and where the next meetings are held, on the Letters of Love NDSU Instagram and on myNDSU.

Visit campus or apply now to be part of one of NDSU’s service-oriented student organizations.

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