Sometimes, all that is needed are some warm and comforting words, even if they are from a stranger. Within the chaotic and at times cynical world, kindness is high in demand. Seeking to share the power of amiability on our own West campus is Words to Heart, a student led club specializing in hospitality and appreciating others in the community.
“Something we have always believed strongly in was that words hold power,” Anna Pauken said. “Especially in times of a pandemic, it is something that can really impact people.”
Believing in the power of words and the impact it can have on others, the officers of Words to Heart came together to work towards one central goal.
“Words to Heart is a club aimed at providing encouragement to people in need,” Vivian Zhang said. “Students write wholesome letters that are mailed to different groups of people such as patients in hospitals or public service workers, and our goal is to eliminate feelings of hopelessness that tend to manifest in these groups of people through these letters.”
Though many clubs initially struggled to take flight in the new year due to the pandemic situation, Words to Heart is a club that has been moving forward regardless of the current situation.
“Aside from our introductory one, we don’t have regular meetings,” Jakie Lasut said. “However, we hold a new initiative every two weeks, where we write letters to a new organization in our community.”
Most of the needed information can be found easily through the club’s social media, which lets all the members know what and when to send in letter submissions.
“Most of the information about our letter writing initiatives can be found on our Instagram page, and anyone is welcome to participate,” Jessica Ding said. “Writers can choose to send in digital submissions, which we then transcribe onto paper, or they can make physical letters of hope and leave them in their mailbox or our box outside Plano West for us to pick up.”
Although it is not required, the officers encourage all club members to write a letter for every project, even if they are not obligated to write one.
“Anyone and everyone can write a letter,” Ding said. “Many students decorate their cards, tell a little bit about themselves, and in general offer words of comfort and encouragement to our recipients.”
For now, the club is operating on a two week schedule, the time being used to write, collect, and send out the finished cards.
“For the most part, Words to Heart holds letter drives for various organizations based on the plan created in the beginning of the semester,” Alvin Tang said. “Our letter drives usually last 2 weeks, and during this time, we will collect letters in person or transcribe them from our website.”
Another essential part other than the letters itself is the process of connecting to certain organizations in the community, and planning the exchange.
“Once the officer team has agreed on an organization to write to, we usually contact them through email to ask if we can send some letters,” Tang said. “When we do this, we also ask how many employees or staff members are at the organization, just to ensure we deliver more than enough letters.”
The club hopes that in the future, they can expand their agenda and reach more people in the community in need of a friendly word of encouragement. In times of uncertainty, schedules are bound to change, but members hope that schools will soon reopen their doors.
“As we hopefully return to school, we plan to keep our digital letter submission system in place, supplementing weekly in-person meetings,” Asim Suhail said. “Future projects include continued campaigns towards service workers, such as First Responders, troops, and veterans, but we also hope to send more letters to groups in need like hospital patients and nursing home residents.”
The officers of Words to Heart are proud that their actions have a positive influence in the community, and hope to be a strength for those who receive the handwritten letters.
“[The club] emphasized the impact of words within the community and allowed us to improve ourselves as a people and as leaders,” Pauken said. “It also reminded us that we are capable of making a positive change or contributions.”