FSB student's 'Stamps of Support' brings some happiness in pandemic times

Lauren Speelman holds up some of the letters she's sent

The coronavirus pandemic has led to many changes for Farmer School and Miami University students as remote learning and working became the norm. As the spring semester came to a close, the university’s Center for Career Exploration and Success sought to discover Social Impact Champions, students who were developing their professional skills while having a social impact in their communities.

One of the students the Center found was Lauren Speelman, a sophomore marketing major, who decided to bring some happiness to healthcare workers and patients dealing with the pandemic. “I had seen people collecting letters and delivering them to hospitals, and I thought, ‘Oh, that's such a great idea,’” Speelman recalled. “And for about a week, I was waiting around, seeing if someone in my community would do it. And when I didn't see that happening, I asked myself, ‘Why don't I do that?’”

Speelman started Stamps of Support and began reaching out to organizations, groups, and friends from her Westerville, Ohio home. “Over the last couple of weeks, I've collected over 200 letters. I've gone to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital, and this last week, I went to a senior citizen home,” Speelman said. “The woman that came to the door to meet me, she was almost in tears. When I called, she told the residents about it and they were so excited.”

“I've had friends in California and Wisconsin and New York tell me that what I've done here in Columbus has inspired them to send letters in their own cities, which honestly, I never thought that would happen. That just really inspired me,” Speelman said.

Speelman said the experience so far has helped her develop her own communication skills, verbal and written. “You'd think it'd be pretty straightforward, but with other people writing letters, I had a lot of people reaching out and asking what they should say,” she noted. “You don't want to just focus on the negativity that's associated with COVID. You want to make sure that what you're sending out there is positivity.”

“If you want to see something done, you're more than capable of doing it and anyone can make an impact. It doesn't even have to be something big. I'm sure I got a couple hand cramps here and there, but that's the most minor inconvenience,” Speelman explained. “Seeing the smiles when I do these letter drop-offs it just makes it so worth it. It's very easy to make an impact, so I would just emphasize to do what you can.”

If you're interested in helping, contact Lauren.

Some of Lauren Speelman's letters