Sending hope

Big Brothers Big Sisters campaign aims to get positive messages to Central Iowa children

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS A new Big Brothers Big Sisters effort, called the “Dear Young Person Campaign,” aims to send positive messages to area children. Participants can fill out a postcard with a hopeful message and send it to 811 E. Main St. by Nov. 3, and the cards will be distributed to Marshalltown and West Marshall students.

“We’re hoping to sew seeds of love and tolerance and compassion for our children.”

That’s the goal of a national effort by Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) called the “Dear Young Person Campaign.” Heart of Iowa BBBS Executive Director Lynne Carroll said she hopes the organization gets many postcards with positive messages in the coming weeks.

“We’re going to distribute them through schools here in Marshalltown,” she said of the cards. “It will also be happening over in the West Marshall School District as well.”

In Marshalltown, Carroll said the cards will be sent to either Lenihan Intermediate School students or Miller Middle School Students.

“We’d love to have enough to cover a whole grade level, that would be about 350,” she said. “If we had 700 of them, that would cover all of Miller, or all of Lenihan … that would be our ideal goal.”

Carroll said the national campaign is in response to recent events, such as the demonstrations turned violent as white nationalist and supremacist groups marched in Charlottesville, Va in August.

“There are so many other things in the world right now that sometimes make that sense of the future not look so hopeful,” Carroll said.

Those interested in sending a positive written message to a child can buy a postcard, with or without a picture, and scribble down a positive message. Then, participants can send the card to 811 E. Main St. for Marshalltown students, or 202 Lincoln Valley Dr., State Center, for West Marshall Students.

“Sit down and write a note to a child, just begin it with ‘Dear young person,'” Carroll said adding the cards must be received by BBBS by Nov. 3. “We will make sure they get distributed.”

By sending children positive, hopeful messages, Carroll said the campaign will have an equally positive impact on children who see or hear about violence in the news.

“Let them know that they’re important, that they’re valuable, that they’re a wonderful gift to our community, and that they have the ability to change the world,” she said.


Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or