Meet the Teen Founder of “Letters That Love”

“Find something that is personal to you—community service you can relate to.”

While at the First Tee Innovators Forum–a national event in which participants are challenged to do meaningful service within their community–I thought through many potential community-service projects I could create. But professional golfer Billy Horschel, who spoke to us at the event about his experience with community service and starting his foundation, shared wisdom that stuck in my mind: I had to make my project something personal. And what was more personal than the death of my mother? 

September 2023 was the five-year anniversary of my mom’s death, five years since my world was turned upside down. My mom passed away after a four-year battle with Metastatic Breast Cancer. I was only 11. It had only been a handful of years, yet it felt like the world had moved on. 

When I was walking through the hallways at school, it hit me. No one even knows my mom passed away today. No one cares. But that wasn’t true then and isn’t true now. There are always people who care about your grief and understand your experience. That’s why I started Letters That Love.

About the program

Letters That Love is a free program in which I, along with volunteers from my community and other schools, send cards annually to children who have experienced the death of a parent or close loved one. 

sample of card

Sample of a card sent to a grieving child from Christina

We send out cards every year on the date(s) requested, which can be the anniversary or birthday of the person who died, or on holidays like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc. I wanted kids who experience grief to have more resources and an avenue of support, not just in the short-term, but in the long-term. Kids receive cards from the program until they are in 12th grade.

Although Letters That Love has only been around for a short time, since November 2023, we have impacted 13 children in three states by sending cards around specified dates to provide support. We plan to send over 25 cards in the next few months, and are constantly looking to grow and expand our reach. 

If you are a caregiver who’d like to request a card for your child, click on the link below and fill out the form:

Link for Receiving Cards (English):
Link to Receiving Cards (Spanish):

Christina Fuentes is a junior in high school who enjoys playing golf and softball, baking for her friends, and playing with her cat.