By Miles Macdonald
mmacdonald@my.madonna.edu
If you’re stressing during mid-terms this year and thinking you’re going to flunk your next exam, look for one of the many inspirational “love letters” posted in study areas throughout campus. They may be written by strangers but are meant to lift your spirits going into exams.
The idea for these love letters came from Louissa Villaroman, a junior majoring in Biochemistry who is the co-leader of the group, Caritas. Caritas, meaning charity in Latin, is a sub-group of Campus Ministry. Caritas is led by Villaroman and Marvic Malabanan, a junior majoring in Nursing.
This program, Love Letters to Strangers, has students turn in hand-written letters of love. Villaroman and Malabanan will post them in areas where a lot of studying is done. 
“The purpose of this program is to just spread the love and, hopefully, it will become a cascading effect,” Villaroman said.
Caritas chose to do this program to, not only spread love during midterm week, but also to have an effect on the suicide rate among college students. Caritas knows that during exam time, students are stressed out and that nationally suicide rates among college students increase during mid-term and final exam weeks. With this program, Caritas hopes to encourage students to keep their heads up during exam time.
Students have offered their opinions about how they would feel upon receiving a letter.
“I would definitely be interested in writing one of these letters, feeling so happy knowing you’re putting a smile on someone else’s face,” said Kristen Drabek, a junior studying Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. 
“I would feel so much better about myself before and after my exam,”said Nick Bielman, a sophomore studying Accounting. 
Caritas also wishes to inspire students to continue this tradition outside of exam week. 
“We are hoping that if someone picks a letter up that they may do the same for another stranger in the university, at Starbucks, or at work,” Villaroman said.
There are a few guidelines: Louissa and Marvic ask writers to abide by. Again, the letters must be hand-written, the letters can be written on lined paper or stationary, and the writer has the choice of leaving his or her name or remaining anonymous. The letters may be any length the writer wishes. Villaroman and Malabanan plan to have all  letters collected by Feb. 21.
The program may return in April. 
“Doing this during finals is tentative but very possible. We want to help everybody in as many ways as we can,” Malabanan said. 
Caritas also takes monthly trips to Gleaner’s food bank, sell paczkis and hands out operation rice bowls with all proceeds of paczki sales with proceeds going to Catholic Relief Services.
If you are interested in joining Caritas or wish to write a love letter, contact Villaroman or Malabanan at lvillaroman@my.madonna.edu or mmalabanan@my.madonna.edu.mailto:mmacdonald@my.madonna.edumailto:lvillaroman@my.madonna.edumailto:mmalabanan@my.madonna.eduLove_letters_files/News%20MLK%20day.docxshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2

News

Send some love during midterms