UT Martin student asks for help giving hope

A few minutes of your time and a simple handwritten letter: that’s what John Sellers, student at the University of Tennessee at Martin, is asking of every Union student.

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John Sellers started non-profit Letters in Motion when he returned to Tennessee for college. | Submitted photo by John Sellers
Sellers, a junior psychology major, is founder of non-profit Letters in Motion that raises awareness, funds and hope for orphans in Nepal. One of the organization’s main goals is to collect 3,000 letters of encouragement every year.

This summer, Sellers and a team of seven others from three universities will hand deliver the letters during a three week trip to Nepal in June. During their trip, they will also deliver funds to his parents’ orphanage and film the letters being delivered so students can see the impact they make.

“Hand writing a letter is a very intimate thing,” Sellers said. “When you’re writing to someone who has no hope, that’s a powerful thing.”

So far, students from ten universities have contributed over 1600 letters, and Sellers said he hopes Union University students can add to that list. He presented his story in Student Senate Feb. 11 and asked every organization to set aside a few minutes at their next meeting for letter writing.

“I feel that if we could get every Union organization connected with orphans in Nepal, then that would be a huge success,” he said.

In addition to providing hope for the letters’ recipients, Sellers said he hopes the letter writing campaign will open students’ eyes to orphans’ needs and to continue working to support orphans both abroad and in their own communities.

“I think students should support Letters in Motion because it is an organization that can personally affect the lives of children. The leaders are very passionate about their work and the kids,” said Emma Kurt, SGA Vice President. She and Jason Castles, assistant dean of students, met with Sellers before he presented in Senate.

Sellers said passion for Nepal runs in his family. His aunt, uncle and five cousins moved there in 1990 and opened a small orphanage. Two years later, his uncle, aunt and cousins died in a plane crash.

Sellers’ grandparents moved to Nepal and took over the work their family had begun. They passed away twenty years later, and Sellers’ parents moved their family to Nepal to continue running the orphanage.

“I always grew up thinking about making a difference in Nepal,” Sellers said. “When I lived there, I fell in love with the people and became very burdened for them.”

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John Sellers (R) says he has been passionate about supporting Nepalese orphans most of his life. | Submitted photo by John Sellers
When Sellers moved back to the states for college, he wanted to open the eyes of the students around him to the plight of the world’s orphans and aid the work his parents were doing in Nepal. Sellers started Letters in Motion, he said, and in the future he hopes the organization continues to grow and connect students all over the country for a common purpose.

“I hope we’re always connecting people from diverse places to provide hope for one cause,” said Sellers.

May 2 and 3 there will be a 5k run on Union’s soccer field, and the profits will go to support Letters in Motion. To write a letter, find out more information or purchase a 5k ticket go to golettersinmotion.com or email lettersinmotioninfo@gmail.com.

Images courtesy of Submitted Photo| John Sellers and Submitted Photo|John Sellers
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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.