Home

LETTERS

that address TRUTH
& deliver IMPACT

Share This

Follow Us

Lauren wrote a book in 2015 called How My Truth Became My Power

Here is how my dream went from my heart to my imagination

To: Woman
From: Lauren Brill
Sponsor: If you like our stories, please subscribe. We are a user-supported platform
Five years ago, I wrote a book, which was a collection of letters about my life and the lessons I learned thus far. I wrote the book before I realized I wanted my own company let alone what that company would be. The other day, I came across the final chapter of the book and I couldn't believe how it aligned with The Unsealed. It made me realize, sometimes we can feel our dreams before we can visualize them. This week marks one year since I moved to Miami. I decided to share with you the final letter of my book which I called, How My Truth Became My Power.
Gabrielle worries about her safety.

What it is like to be a trans woman of color in America

To: whoever is willing to read
From: Gabrielle Inés (written with Lauren Brill)
Charity: Metro Trans Umbrella Group
Sponsor: The Unsealed will donate any ad revenue associated with this story until 7/3 Metro Trans Umbrella Group
While pride month just wrapped up, I want to continue the conversation into July. I reached out to Gabrielle on social media. She is a trans woman of color. In a letter addressed to whoever is willing to read, she shares the struggles she endures and what she hopes you get out of reading her story.
IMG_0029

This is why your strength has nothing to do with how hard you hit

To: My husband and sparring partner in life, Glenn,
From: Franchón Crews-Dezurn (written with Lauren Brill)
Sponsor: The Unsealed is a user-supported platform. If you like our content, please subscribe
Franchon Crews-Dezurn is a world boxing champion. However, she believes strength is much more than the power behind her punch. She writes an open letter to her husband, Glenn, about what true strength looks like.
Leonard focused his childhood on becoming an NFL player

How my journey can teach you how to unlock your dreams

To: Young People
From: Leonard Marshall (Written with Lauren Brill)
Charity: Concussion Legacy Foundation
Sponsor: Alan B Brill & Associates is donating $100 to the Concussion Legacy Foundation in honor of the first 100 shares of this story
I met New York Giants great, Leonard Marshall, through my father. When Leonard heard about The Unsealed he immediately wanted to get involved. In an open letter to young people, he talks up about his childhood in the south, racism, challenges during his football career and his struggles with CTE. Through his journey he believes there are many valuable lessons young people can learn.
image1-27

Dad, Here is what I never got the chance to tell you

To: Dad
From: Reggie Jagers III
Charity: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Sponsor: A friend of The Unsealed is donating $50 to St. Jude's for the first 50 shares of this letter
Reggie Jagers III is training to try and become the first African-American to medal in the Olympic Games as a discus thrower. As he works toward his goal, he writes a letter to his father who won't be able to cheer him on along the way.
Lauren and her friends have had more conversations about race and racism than usual these last few weeks.

Why Freedom Day is another reminder to keep fighting

To: Anyone who cares to listen
From: Lauren Brill
Charity: NAACP
Sponsor: The Unsealed will donate its ad revenue up until june 21st to the NAACP
These last few weeks have been revealing and emotional. In the wake of George Floyd's murder, the nation has been discussing and protesting racism in this country. As someone who is white, I have tried to listen and learn as much as possible. Now, on Juneteenth, I am sharing my thoughts on what I have realized and what I think is next.
Danny

Dear drugs, this is how I stay away from you

To: Drugs
From: Danny (written with Lauren Brill)
Charity: Black Lives Matter
Sponsor: The Unsealed will be donating any ad revenue from 6/16-6/19 to Black Lives Matter
A subscriber of The Unsealed asked me to do a letter on the pandemic's impact on addiction. I met Daniel through a mutual connection. He shares what is helping him through this tough time in an open letter to drugs.
Alex is a film maker in Cleveland.

Letters From Our Community: Why what I am may not be what you see

From: The Unsealed Community
Sponsor: Subscribe to The Unsealed to add your story
Members of The Unsealed community share their stories.
Daniel Artest says he started experiencing racism as a child in New York.

To our allies, this is how you can gain my trust

To: Those who say they are our allies
From: Daniel Artest (Written with Lauren Brill)
Sponsor: We are a user-supported platform. Subscribe to The Unsealed so we can continue to tell stories that empower people
Daniel Artest told me after years of many racist experiences he does not have many white friends, but he wants to change that. He writes an open letter to allies people about how they can gain his trust.
IMG_9657

Here is why I want my country to act more like my high school classmates

To: My Community
From: Brandyn
Sponsor: The Unsealed is a user-supported platform. Please consider subscribing so we can continue to empower all voices
I reached out to Brandyn, a 17-year-old black teen, because I thought his perspective was and is important. We are fighting, in part, for his future. As Brandyn writes an open letter to his community, he gives us hope for what could be but also reminds us of that heartbreak that still is...
image0 (6)

As a white woman with a heavy heart, this is my advice

To: White Americans
From: Lauren Brill
Charity: Color of Change
Sponsor: The Unsealed will donate all ad revenue connected to this story up until June 2nd to The Color of Change
This week I have felt sad and hurt about the racism we've once again witnessed in this country. Feeling helpless and discouraged, I asked friends how I can make an impact. They told me to talk to more white Americans. So, here is my letter and my advice to white Americans.
Phil has gained the respect of the best of the best including Kyrie Irving and LeBron James.

Mom and Dad, Here is what I want you to know about the moment you missed

To: Mom and Dad
From: Phil Handy
Charity: The LeBron James Family Foundation
Sponsor: If we get at least 10k hits on this story, The Unsealed will donate any ad revenue up until June 1st to The LeBron James Family Foundation
If you are in or around the NBA or high-level basketball, you know the name Phil Handy. He is one of the most well-respected coach/trainers in the game. I met Phil when he was coach for the Cavaliers in Cleveland, where I witnessed him win an NBA title. It was a defining moment in his life. Now, he is writing to his parents about what was missing in that special moment in his life.
The class of 2003 lost nine of its members.

To the children of my fallen classmates…

To: The Children of My Fallen Classmates
From: Boyd Melson
Charity: Protectors of the Free Foundation
Sponsor: The Unsealed will be donating all its add revenue until Thursday May 28 to The Protectors of the Free Foundation (the more shares and hits, the more money raised)
Former pro boxer, Boyd Melson, graduated from West Point in 2003. During his time at West Point he says he built a unique and strong bond with all of his classmates. However, his class has lost nine of its members. Now, Melson writes open letter to the children of his fallen classmates.
IMG_9306

To Black Queer Young Boys, This is How I Grew to Love Myself

To: Young Black Queer Boys
From: Tré Melvin as told to and translated by Lauren Brill
Charity: The West Hollywood LGBTQ Center for the Youth
Sponsor: The Unsealed will be donating all its add revenue until Monday May 25 to The West Hollywood LGBTQ Center for the Youth (the more shares and hits, the more money raised)
When I first started watching Tré Melvin's videos, I was impressed by how he used creativity and comedy to delve into real issues in our society. He is smart. He is creative and he is brave. But according to Melvin, being the person he is today took some time and some work. In an open letter to black, queer young boys, he opens up about the path he has traveled.
After playing at Columbia University, Josh entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent.

This is how football showed an NFL player how to fight the virus

To: America
From: Josh Martin
Charity: Harlem School of the Arts
Sponsor: Alan B. Brill and Associates will be donating $50 to The Harlem School of the Arts in honor of the first 50 shares of this letter
Like me, NFL free agent, Josh Martin is a Columbia graduate. When I saw his profile pop up on my LinkedIn, I reached out to the fellow lion and told him about The Unsealed. He was immediately willing to learn more. Soon after, I approached him about a story, he suggested writing to the country about the power of teamwork.
Amanda develops close bonds with the people she helps.

This is how your fears will be met with more than just our food

To: future meal recipient
From: Amanda Anschutz
Charity: Compassion Delivered
Sponsor: The Unsealed will buy one week worth of food for one meal receipient in honor of the first 100 shares of this story
One of our subscribers introduced me to Amanda. He felt she had a compelling story to share. Amanda, who runs Compassion Delivered, a non-profit delivering free meals to people who are facing life-threatening illnesses, found her purpose through her family. She writes an open letter to a future meal recipient explaining how adding love to their life nourishes her being.
Angela has five children, including three sons.

To white mothers, this is how you can help keep my sons safe

To: White mothers
From: Angela Dennis (written with Lauren Brill)
Sponsor: If you like this story, subscribe to The Unsealed so we can continue to empower voices
I met Angela Dennis several years ago. Immediately, we hit it off. She is a wise woman with a toughness in her bones that perfectly meshes with the warmth in her heart. As the country reacts to yet another senseless act of violence on an unarmed black man, Angela, a mother to five children, including three black men,  writes an honest and heartfelt letter to white mothers. From one parent to another, she is asking moms to help combat racism.
Gab is an in-park host for the Cleveland Indians.

Cleveland, join me in helping children who are hurting right now

To: Cleveland
From: Gab Kreuz
Charity: The Ronald McDonald House Cleveland
Sponsor: The Unsealed will be donating all of its ad revenue up until May 10th to the Ronald McDonald House Cleveland
Gab Kreuz and I have been friends for years. We were talking on the phone about the benefits of helping others during tough times. So, Gab decided to write a letter to Cleveland, hoping the city will join her in supporting sick children at the Ronald McDonald House. Many of these children are battling life-threatening illnesses and are impacted by social distancing rules.
Mikey says pizza helped her become more assertive and confident at work.

Why it’s important for women to ask for free pizza

To: The pizza owner at Garlic Pizza, my local pizza shop,
From: Mikey Austin
Sponsor: If you like this story, become a subscriber to The Unsealed and help us change the world
I met Mikey about 20 years ago. Our parents were friends and I used to babysit Mikey. Coincidentally, we both grew up to become advocates for women's equality. In a clever and creative letter to the owner of her local pizza shop, Mikey, a 20-something professional, explains what pizza has to do with making sure women get their share of the pie.
tonia larger

To my customers, your love and loyalty give me hope

To: My customers
From: Tonia Marra
Sponsor: If you like this story, become a subcriber to The Unsealed and help us change the wolrd
There are so many people who have had to close their businesses to help slow down the spread of COVID-19. Tonia Marra, who owns D'Agostino Hair Artistry, is not just a business owner but she is also my best friend. She writes an open letter to her customers as she navigates through this difficult time.
Michael says that his family has been laughing more than ever.

In the midst of fear my family found lyrics and laughter

To: Those quarantining with their family
From: Michael Ochs
Sponsor: If you like this story, give The Unsealed a tip, so we can contiune to empower inspirational voices
I met Michael's parents years ago waiting for a plane at an airport. His parents invited me to a fundraiser and Michael and I have been friends ever since. Michael is a talented songwriter that is always jet-setting across the world. Now, his work is on hold as he cares for his elderly parents. Michael shares his thoughts on quarantining as he writes to those at home with their family.
A. Cole found out she was pregnant in November of 2019.

Here is what it is like to be pregnant during a pandemic

To: My unborn son
From: A. Cole
Charity: American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association
Sponsor: The Unsealed will be donating its ad revenue up until April 27th to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (We make a about $5 dollars per 1,000 hits)
I connected with A. Cole through Instagram and she immediately agreed to share her story with The Unsealed. A. Cole is strong and informed, as she writes an open letter to her unborn son about what it's like to be pregnant during a pandemic.
Jared says his dad is his hero

Why my dad is my hero

To: My Dad (Larry Simon)
From: Jared Simon
Charity: Simon Research Foundation
Sponsor: The Unsealed will be donating its ad revenue up until April 24th to Simon Research Foundation (we make about $5 dollars per 1,000 hits)
Jared and I reconnected on Facebook. We had met years ago while I was working at MSG Varsity in New York. When Jared told me he was interested in writing a letter to his dad, who was among the founders of Sirius radio, I loved the idea. The perseverance he and his father have displayed on their respective journeys is more than worth sharing.
74677090_2423023347947142_7850659742698438656_o

What matters most is not the memories we are missing

To: Clarkstown North High School's 2020 class
From: Daniel Kantrowitz
Charity: The Familial Dysautonomia Foundation, Inc
Sponsor: In honor of Daniel's friend Jack, The Unsealed will be donating all of its ad revenue up until April 20th to The Familial Dysautonomia Foundation, Inc
I met Daniel Kantrowitz, a senior in high school, when he was two years old. I probably haven't seen or spoken to him since. It was refreshing to see the man he has become as he shares his thoughts about his classmates' reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic in an open letter to his peers.
image0-10

To single parents, here is why you need to be positive despite the pressure

To: Single Parents
From: David Padron
Charity: Feeding South Florida
Sponsor: The Unsealed will be donating all of its ad revenue up until April 16th to Feeding South Florida
A lot of families are struggling right now, as they worry about their health and their livelihood. David, who is a single dad, is no different. However, he writes an inspiring open letter to single parents about how he is making the most of the situation.
Ashley is working with her son, Camden, at home because schools are closed.

Here is the perspective the pandemic gave me on my son’s teacher

To: My son's first grade teacher, Ms. Lassner
From: Ashley Saavedra
Charity: Feeding South Florida
Sponsor: The Unsealed will be donating all of its ad revenue up until April 14th to Feeding South Florida
As schools close to slow down the spread of COVID-19, Ashley Saavedra is among many parents who have gained a greater appreciation for educators. She writes an open letter to her son's first-grade teacher.
Screen Shot 2020-04-08 at 12.35.33 AM

To Young Black Girls, You can become more than what you see

To: Young black girls
From: Devereaux Peters
Charity: Greater Chicago Food Bank
Sponsor: The Unsealed will be donating all of its ad revenue up until April 10th to the Greater Chicago Foodbank
Devereaux Peters is a two-time WNBA Champion, but her interests extend far beyond the basketball court. She is a great example of a woman not afraid to explore who she is and what she wants. In an open letter, Devereaux tells young black women not to allow anyone to stop them from becoming whoever it is they want to be.
IMG_8221

What my grandpa taught me about courage in a crisis

To: Those who don't know what to do during the coronavirus crisis, 
From: Lauren Brill
Charity: Women Sports Foundation
Sponsor: Half of the money The Unsealed makes through advertisements from March 31st to April 3rd will be donated to The Women Sports Foundation
Our safety is threatened. Lives have been lost. And our routines have been put on hold. We are in a crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic. Sometimes it's hard to know exactly what to do. So, I decided to share with all of you a lesson I learned from my grandfather.
Billie_Jean_King_

To Billie Jean King – This is the message I got from your mission

To: Billie Jean King
From: Lauren Brill
Charity: Women Sports Foundation
Sponsor: Half of the money The Unsealed makes through advertisements from March 31st to April 3rd will be donated to The Women Sports Foundation
Billie Jean King is someone I have always admired. I met her twice, once at a book signing and a second time on a red carpet. However, I never got the chance to explain to her the influence she's had on my life. So, I figured Equal Pay Day would be the perfect day to do so. 
IMG_7987

Here is what I learned while being alone

To: Those in quarantine
From: Lauren Brill
Sponsor: Please subscribe to The Unsealed and support journalist that empowers people's voices and uses truth to inspire and change the world
I have been self-isolating for almost two weeks now. While I am more worried about my parents than anything else, during this time I have tried to find a lesson and a message. Here it is in an open letter to those in quarantine.
IMG_7940

Scared about COVID-19? Here’s what you can do about it

To: Those Who Are Feeling Scared, Confused, and Anxious about COVID-19
From: Alyson Cohen, LCSW
Sponsor: Please subscribe to The Unsealed and support journalist that empowers people's voices and uses truth to inspire and change the world
Psychotherapist Aly Cohen and I have been friends since science class in ninth grade. As one of my friends, I have the luxury of consistently getting great advice. But as I reached out to her about my fears and reactions regarding COVID-19, I realized she had a lot of tips that could be of value to many people. She writes an open letter to those feeling scared about the pandemic.
kierre

Here is what I did with your words and your wisdom

To: Hip-Hop Preacher, Eric Thomas, Ph.D.
From: Kierre Hawkins
Sponsor: Please subscribe to The Unsealed and support journalist that empowers people's voices and uses truth to inspire and change the world
I interviewed Kierre shortly after he was offered a scholarship to Ohio State. He had drive and a relentless work ethic. When I asked him how he stayed focus, he began quoting hip-hop preacher, Eric Thomas. Now, years later, Kierre writes an open letter to Eric about how he influenced his life.
Matthias runs a successful fitness business.

Mom, here is what I want to buy you for your hard work and hustle

To: mom (Tiquan Whitbeck)
From: Matthias McKinnon
Sponsor: If you like this story, please subscribe to The Unsealed and support journalism that empowers people's voices
I was introduced to Matthias McKinnon, a former NFL player and fitness guru, through an Instagram follower. His determination and passion for growing his fitness business immediately became clear. Matthias chose to write a letter to his mom, who showed him what it means to work hard and to hustle.
sarah and dave

What happens when you have your wedding this week?

To: My fiance, Sarah
From: Dave Turner
Charity: Brain Trauma Foundation
Sponsor: The Unsealed will donate $2 to the Brain Trauma Foundation for every new subscriber that signs up before 3/17/20
I randomly reconnected with Dave, who was my former co-worker at MSG. He mentioned he enjoyed The Unsealed and then told me he was supposed to get married on Friday. I asked him if he would write a letter to his fiance about the fact that their big day might be canceled because of the coronavirus.
Michael Strahan continues to be a mentor for Brandon.

Here is how one moment with you made my career

To: Michael Strahan
From: Brandon London
Charity: Be the Match (manages the largest marrow registry in the world)
Sponsor: The Unsealed will donate $2 to Be The Match for every new subscriber that signs up before 3/16/20
I have known former NFL player and current broadcaster Brandon London for years. How we met is a funny story, but I'll save that for another day. I have watched Brandon evolve from an athlete to a talented television personality. I saw him when he was hustling and then when opportunities started to come his way. I didn't know the back story of his success until he told me he wanted to write an open letter to his former teammate and mentor Michael Strahan.
Our knowledge on the coronavirus is limited.

From fears to facts, here is why the coronavirus is causing confusion

To: Those who have coronavirus confusion
From: Lauren Brill
I am one of many who is confused and scared over the coronavirus. I wrote an open letter discussing the basis of my fears and the confusion that has followed the media coverage.
Latoya started a successful pickle business.

How pickles helped me go from homeless to happy

To: My children, Curtis, Eric and Myhia,
From: Latoya Moppins
Charity: Angels with Open Arms
Sponsor: The Unsealed will donate $2 to Angels With Open Arms for every new subscriber before 3/12/20
Latoya Moppins, an entrepreneur from Dallas, reached out to me after reading Brian Cuban's letter on The Unsealed. I immediately was interested in her story. She is inspiring and strong, as she writes an open letter to her children. She explains how pickles helped her transform her life from being a homeless woman to a happy person.
Elijah is headed to the University of North Carolina where he received a scholarship to play football.

You are a great player but here is what really makes a dad proud

To: My son, Elijah
From: Victor Green
Charity: Victor Green Foundation
Sponsor: The Unsealed will donate $2 to the Victor Green Foundation for every new subscriber before 3/8/20
I follow former New York Jets great Victor Green on social media and couldn't help but notice the adoration he has for his son. After seeing that his son accepted a scholarship offer from the University of North Carolina, I asked Victor if he would like to write a letter to his son about taking this next step in his life and his football career.

How I learned to live in my own light instead of my brother’s shadow

To: Those who feel like they are living in their sibling's shadow
From: Brian Cuban
Charity: Cycle for Recovery
Sponsor: The Unsealed will donate $2 for every new subsciber before 3/5/20
I reached out to Brian Cuban, who is the brother of billionaire Mark Cuban when I started this journey as an entrepreneur. He gave me some great tips, particularly for public speaking. A few months later, I circled back with him and asked him if he would do a story. He so kindly agreed. Brian is open and honest as he writes to people who feel as though they live in their sibling's shadow.
francona

Here is what you did for a little boy who loved baseball

To: Dave Bristol
From: Terry Francona
Charity: Boys and Girls Club Cleveland
Sponsor: The Unsealed will donate $2 to the Boys and Girls Club Cleveland for every new subscriber that signs up by 3/1/20
At 11 years old, Indians Manager Terry Francona went on a 10-day road trip with the Milwaukee Brewers. He writes an open letter to Dave Bristol, who, at the time, was the manager for the Brewers. When Terry talks about that road trip, you can tell that the excited little boy who loves baseball is still very much a part of him.
Lauren's mom often attracted attention for her appearance.

Mom, this is how your beauty made you blind

To: Mommy (Shelley Brill)
From: Lauren Brill
Sponsor: If you like this letter subscribe to The Unsealed
This letter is a reflection of society's attempt to often stereotype and pass judgment on women. On a personal level, for a long time, it bothered me that the thoughts of others impacted my mother's ability to see her greatness. I wrote an open letter to my mom about what I see when I look at her.
Bobby and Sabrina

Fearless and fearful, then and now, your love has made me feel it all

To: Sabrina Cruz
From: Bobby Hornak
Charity: The New York Institute for Special Education
Sponsor: The Unsealed will donate $2 to the New York Institute for Special Education for every new subscriber that signs up by 2/17/20
I loved working with Bobby to write an open letter to the love of his life, Sabrina, who he first met when he was 11 years old. I went to middle school with both of them. The way he describes Sabrina is exactly how I remember her - happy and kind. It warms my heart to see two nice people experiencing true love.
Lauren and Brian attending a cocktail for Emmy nominees.

What my next love should know about my last love

To: My next love
From: Lauren Brill
Sponsor: If you like this letter, please support The Unsealed and subscribe
I'll never forget sitting in the passenger seat of my dad's car when I got a message on Facebook that read, "Hey Lauren. I don't know how to tell you this but feel like as such a big part of his life you should know. Roche passed away last night." Roche was the last name of my ex-boyfriend, Brian. Unfortunately, it took losing Brian to learn what I know now about love. I share that knowledge in an open letter to my future love.
Gretchen started a nonprofit called Lift Our Voices to bring issues of workplace toxicity to the forefront.

Here is why you need to stop being nice and start being loud

To: Ambitious Young Women
From: Gretchen Carlson
Charity: Lift Our Voices
Sponsor: Alan B. Brill & Associates will donate $100 to Lift Our Voices in the honor of the first 100 shares of Gretchen's letter
Harassment in the workplace is a pervasive problem. Former Fox News anchor, Gretchen Carlson, exhibited courage and strength when she sued former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. Now, she is continuing her fight against harassment in the workplace to help all women. I reached out to Gretchen because I thought she would have incredible insight. Gretchen kindly agreed to write an open letter to ambitious young women, sharing what she's learned on her journey thus far.
image4

When I lost my father, I found Kobe

To: Kids who won’t grow up witnessing the Mamba Mentality
From: Shay Murphy
Charity: Food on Foot
Sponsor: The Unsealed will donate $25 to food on foot in honor of the first 25 shares of Shay's story
After Kobe Bryant passed away I saw a post on WNBA champion Shay Murphy's Facebook page about Kobe's influence on her life. She was emotional and raw, so I reached out to her and she immediately agreed to share her story and her message about the Mamba Mentality.
Lauren and her dad enjoying a sushi dinner on vacation in Los Angeles.

Here is what happens when a dad believes in his daughter…

To: My Dad (Alan Brill)
From: Lauren Brill
Sponsor: If you like this story support The Unsealed and subscribe
My dad has been a major source of wisdom, strength and motivation through the years. As I take on this huge challenge of starting a business (The Unsealed), the traits he has instilled in me are critical. I wrote an open letter to my dad to recognize his role in my life and on this journey.
IMG_0357

To all the people I could not save…

To: All the people I could not save
From: Pat Michalik
Charity: Code Green Campaign
Sponsor: The Unsealed will give $2 to Code Green Campaign for every new monthly contributor that signs up by 1/25/20 and writes "Pat" in the space that asks "Which story inspired you?"
Pat Michalik, a former firefighter, reached out to me on Instagram and I could immediately feel the sincerity in his message, as he has a strong desire to help first responders. In an open letter to all the people he could not save, Pat opens up about his struggles with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Ruths f;;;amily moved to Chicago.

I left Nazi Germany – Here is how I handle hate in America

To: All Young People
From: Ruth Gasten
Charity: Student Education Loan Fund
Sponsor: The Unsealed will give $2 to the Student Education Loan Fund for every new monthly contributor that signs up and writes "Ruth" in the space that asks "Which story inspired you?"
Ruth has so much wisdom we decided to do two letters. In this second letter, Ruth talks about her time in America and what she has learned about how to handle hate and discrimination.
Ruth could sense her parents fear at a very young age.

To all young people, this is what you need to know about the holocaust

To: All Young People
From: Ruth Gasten
Charity: Student Education Loan Fund
Sponsor: The Unsealed will give $2 to the Student Education Loan Fund for every new monthly contributor that signs up and writes "Ruth" in the space that asks "Which story inspired you?"
Since the moment I got off the phone with Ruth Gasten, I have not stopped talking about her wisdom, intelligence, humor and upbeat personality. Ruth is an 86-year-old holocaust survivor with an incredible perspective.. She wrote an open letter to young people about what lesson she wants them to learn from the holocaust.
Lindsay in a bathing suit

It is time you see the beauty in all of our bodies

To: Fashion Designers
From: Lindsay Hollister
Charity: STOMP Out Bullying
Sponsor: The Unsealed will give $2 to STOMP Out Bullying for every new monthly contributor that signs up and writes "Lindsay" in the space that asks "Which story inspired you?"
I came across a post Lindsay wrote about clothes for larger women. To be honest, I never really thought about the challenges larger women have when shopping for fashionable clothes. I reached out to Lindsay because I felt her perspective was necessary and often ignored. Lindsay wrote a powerful letter on why fashion designers should be created clothes in all sizes.
Devonte credits his sister Brianna for giving him the confidence to succeed in school.

To my sister, this is how your strength led to my success

To: My sister, Brianna
From: Devonte Simon
Charity: Support The Youth
Sponsor: The Unsealed will give $2 to Support The Youth for every new monthly contributor that signs up and puts "Devonte" in the space that says "Which story inspires you?"
I met Devonte while doing an radio interview with DJ Kris Styles on 95.9FM in Cleveland. Immediately, I was impressed with Devonte's devotion to his community and to young people, especially since Devonte is only 21 years old. In his letter he writes to his older sister about her impact on his success and his motivation to give to others.
Adir says he enjoys and appreciates life, especially after surviving a plane crash.

What I learned about luck from surviving a plane crash

To: People who need a little inspiration
From: Adir Freilich
Charity: Memorial Sloan Kettering Kids
Sponsor: The Unsealed will give $2 to Memorial Sloan Kettering Kids for every new monthly contributor that signs up before Tuesday January 7th
Adir's upbeat and positive personality is hard to miss when you are speaking to him. He provides a perspective on how to appreciate all moments in life despite the challenge you are facing.
Lauren moved to Buffalo, New York to pursue her career as a sportscaster.

To those scared of trying something new in the new year

To: Those scared of trying something new
From: Lauren Brill
Sponsor: If you like this story please consider contributing to The Unsealed to support the creation of our unique content
It's about to be a new year. As I think about what's in store for me in 2020, I realize I actually don't have a clue...
Terquin is now a  businessman, who wants to help kids live honest and safe lives.

From drug dealer to businessman, this is how I made it out

To: To kids in Northwest Philly,
From: Terquin Mott
Charity: The Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia
Sponsor: The Unsealed will donate $25 dollars to The Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia in honor of the first 25 shares of this story
As far back as I can remember, which is first grade, I was a problematic student. By age 13, I stopped going to school altogether and was selling drugs, which led to getting arrested. The courts adjudicated me to Glen Mills, which was a school for juvenile delinquents.
Lauren celebrating a birthday

To single women, my birthday is not a burden

To: Single Women In Their 30's
From: Lauren Brill
Sponsor: Please consider becoming a monthly contributor to The Unsealed in honor of my birthday
Today I turn 34 years old. We both know what the world is going to ask me. “Are you married?” “Do you want to get married?” “Do you want me to set you up with my cousin’s niece’s friend's nephew?” “Do you have any kids?” “Are you sure you want a career that requires so many hours?” It seems like each birthday since age 27 the number of times I get these questions doubles.
Diana is frustrated with people's reactions to breastfeeding.

Do my breasts bother you?

To: Those who have something to say when I breastfeed my baby
From: Diana Hart
Charity: La Leche League International
Do you know that before I pull down my shirt and latch my baby to my breast my entire body tenses up? I brace for what you are about to say. I’ve checked out of the conversation. I’ve stopped eating my meal. I’m silently calming my panic because I know your eyes and mouth are about to come for me with insensitivity and sometimes cruelty.
Theo Fleury is a motivational speaker. Courtesy: Theo Fleury

To the stanger who showed me how to bring peace to my pain

To: A familiar stranger
From: Theo Fleury
Charity: Breaking Free Foundation
Sponsor: The Unsealed is donation $20 to Breaking Free Foundation in honor of the first 20 shares of this letter
A World Cup Junior champion, a Stanley Cup champion and an Olympic Gold Medalist, by most people’s standards, despite challenges, I achieved success in life through my hockey career. But I don’t believe I found true success until I encountered you.
Daschel is five years old

I want you to feel what the world may not see…

To: My son, Daschel
From: Kanyessa McMahon
Charity: Room To Grow
Sponsor: Willard Ogan is donating $20 to Room to Grow in honor of the first 20 shares of Kanyessa's letter
You are only five years old but I keep having this recurring nightmare about your teenage years. In this nightmare, you are in New York City where we live with a bunch of other kids your age. The cops are questioning your friends, but they skip you. You tell everyone you have to get home. So, you dip out and head back as if nothing happened.
George passed away just weeks after writing a letter on The Unsealed.

He lost his life but he left his lesson…

To: Those willing to listen
From: Lauren Brill
Charity: NAMI San Francisco
“Please, let out your emotions. Don’t hold them in.” Those are words from a letter my friend and former Notre Dame football star George Atkinson III wrote just over a month ago to children who are struggling.
Kathy says Amy is always happy and positive.

To parents with special needs children, here is my advice

To: Parents of special needs children
From: Kathy Cavagnaro
Charity: Gigi's Playhouse
Sponsor: Lauren Hall and Lauren Brill are donating $50 to Gigi's Playhouse in Buffalo in honor of the first 50 shares of Kathy's letter
I had a choice to test for certain conditions when I was pregnant with my daughter, Amy, but I turned them down. My reasoning was that the results wouldn't matter to me one way or the other. I, of course, would love my child regardless. So, on June 27, 1994, the day I first touched my beautiful daughter, was the same day I found out that my baby had Down syndrome.
Creed loves football and the Browns.

This is how loving you has impacted my life

To: My son, Creed
From: Chris Hubbard
Charity: NAMI
Sponsor: David Yoffee is donating $50 to NAMI in honor of the first 50 shares of Chris' letter
You are only three years old but I already know exactly what I want for each and every day of your life. Happiness. To be happy you need to love yourself. Despite the fact that the name Creed means a guiding principle, as a child, you follow by example, which is why I know for you to be happy, it is important that I am happy too.
Jay improv

Dad, I thought laughter would make you love me

To: Dad
From: Jay Mandyam
Charity: David Lynch Foundation
Sponsor: HairStyleGlam App
There is a lot about you I do not know. You were secretive about many aspects of your life. We never talked about your hopes or your dreams. I am not sure what your life entailed before you had a family. And for a long time, Dad, I truly didn’t know if you loved me.
Ricky uses humor as he spreads kindness.

Here is what happens when you choose pizza over politics

To: America
From: Ricky Smith
Charity: RAKE Now
Sponsor: A friend of The Unsealed is donating $50 to RAKE Now in honor of the first 50 shares of Ricky's letter
There are eight billion people in this world with all different politics, perspectives and opinions, leading to conflict, debate and at times, even violence. But if all eight billion people woke up and said, “You know what, once a month I will do one act of kindness,” - that would change the status of the world.
Clawdeena is now comfortable expressing who she is and what she feels. Courtesy: Clawdeena9

From closeted to courageous, how makeup transformed my life

To: The silent members of LGBTQ plus community,
From: Clawdeena
Charity: Crisis Text Line
Sponsor: Peter Stevens is donating $100 to Crisis Text Line in honor of the first 100 shares of Clawdeena's letter
At 14 years old, Clawdeena9 was what I called my YouTube channel as opposed to what I called myself. During that time, I was someone who felt angry and unheard. So, I grabbed a bottle of pills and took a handful. When I realized I regretted taking the pills, I told my sister and I was rushed to the hospital. I didn't attempt suicide because I wanted to die. I attempted suicide because I wanted the pain to stop. I wanted someone to hear me even though, like you, I was living in silence. 
George lost both his mother and his twin brother last year.

How I turned my losses into lessons

To: To kids facing tough times
From: George Atkinson III
Charity: NAMI San Francisco
Sponsor: Ashton Nixon will donate $50 to NAMI SF in honor of the first 50 shares of George's letter
It seemed like I lost everything all at once. I can’t even completely describe it but sharing my story with you is a release for me.
Thomas is currently an actor and a CEO of a tech startup company.

To the black and white youth of America, let’s get real about race

To: The black and white youth of America,
From: Thomas Q. Jones
Charity: Race Forward
Sponsor: Alison Epperson is donating $100 in honor of the first 100 shares of Thomas' letter
On my first day of kindergarten, we stood in a circle and said the Pledge of Allegiance. The teacher asked everyone to hold hands. When I reached out to my classmates, no one would touch me. No one would hold my hand. At five years old, I looked around the classroom and I immediately knew the reason. I was black and everyone else was white.
Nancy and Chris met in first grade.

How an f-bomb changed my life

To: To those who read about my f-bomb,
From: Chris Cimino
Charity: Leukemia Research Foundation
Sponsor: Alyson Cohen Therapy
My phone started ringing. Text messages from friends across the country began to pile in. Then, I saw for myself. My f-bomb became a national story. While you may have read in the paper or on the internet about my gaff on air, what reporters didn’t write is that the f-Bomb wasn’t just a headline in the news, it was a breaking story in my life.
Michael has been an athlete all of his life.

To those facing the unknown, Fight through your fears

To: Those facing the unknown
From: Michael Anderson
Charity: Amputee Coalition
Sponsor: DiBella Entertainment is donating $35 to Amputee Coalition in honor of the first 35 shares of Michael's letter
I was in so much pain and on so many pain killers, drugs and IVs that I just knew that I could not live that way any longer. While I didn't know what life was going to be like the agony of the situation far outweighed the fear of the unknown.
At 18 the Duggan family welcomed Tuzar into their home.

To kids in foster care, You are more than your circumstance

To: Children in foster care
From: Tuzar Skipper
Charity: Precious Dreams Foundation
Sponsor: Brett Eannarino is donating $50 to The Precious Dreams Foundation in honor of the first 50 shares of Tuzar's letter.
Please stay strong - stay strong and trust the process. Like you, I know what it is like to be in a low-income community, where there are not a lot of opportunities and there are a ton of broken homes. I know what it’s like to be taken from your parents to live with a family that’s not yours. It’s strange. As a kid, it’s hard to even understand what’s happening.
Gabrielle is a successful actress, advocate and mom.

How your life can give light to my mom’s legacy

To: Gabrielle Union-Wade
From: Vernon Turner
Charity: The National Association for Children of Addiction
Sponsor: Joseph Frimpong is donating $50 The National Association for Children of Addiction in honor of the first 50 shares of this letter
You, your husband (Dwyane Wade) along with Ciara and Russ Wilson are producing a movie about my life. It’s important to share my story because of the lessons I learned and the adversity I have overcome. However, most importantly, I want to bring justice, purpose, and understanding to my mother’s life and story, as well as peace and love to our ever-so-complex mother-son relationship.
Through their foundation, Noah and Larry have raised more than $300,000.  Photo Credit: Heidi Green Photography

From a follower to a friend: How one Instagram message changed my life

To: Larry Nance Jr.
From: Noah Weber
Charity: Athletes vs. Crohn's & Colitis
Sponsor: Jeremy Squilla is donating $200 to Athletes vs. Crohn's & Colitis in honor of the first 200 shares of this letter
Nearly four years ago, I was just a fan and one of your half-a-million Instagram followers. Nonetheless, I decided to sit down and write you a very long message. When I pressed send, I didn’t expect you to respond at all. My parents warned me not to get my hopes up. They explained to me that as an NBA player you probably receive hundreds of messages a day and my note would most likely get lost in the mix.
Coach Sanders believes as a coach his responsibilities are bigger than basketball

Success goes beyond the buzzer

To: My Players
From: Nordonia High School's Coach Sanders
Charity: Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland
Sponsor: A friend of The Unsealed is donating $25 to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland dollars in honor of the first 25 shares of this letter
This is my first year as your head varsity basketball coach. During the summer I got the job to not only coach you, but to return to the conference that I competed in growing up. We will be going against my old coach, my alma mater and my nephew. The competitor in me can’t wait, as I have an innate drive to compete and to be the best at whatever it is I am pursuing. But as the season approaches and we come together as a team, I want you to know that as badly as I want to win, being a coach means so much more to me than accolades and titles.
Mikey Friedman founded Mikey's Way during his own battle with cancer.

To children battling cancer, your smile was my son’s wish

To: Children battling cancer
From: Les Friedman
Charity: Mikey's Way
Sponsor: A friend of The Unsealed is donating $50 to Mikey's Way in honor of the first 50 shares of this letter
You may have never met my son Mikey, but he too knew how it felt to be stuck in the hospital for days on end. He knew how it felt to be pricked with needles and pumped with medicine while other kids are at baseball or soccer practice.
Lee lost the first fight of his career in July of 2019

How the fire in my joints fueled my purpose

To: Pain
From: Mike Lee
Charity: Family Reach
Sponsor: A friend of The Unsealed is donating 25 dollars in honor of the first 25 shares of this letter
Before I met you, I was 12-0, an undefeated professional boxer. I was featured in national Super Bowl commercials. My fights were in some of the world’s most famous arenas, including Madison Square Garden, Cowboys Stadium and MGM Grand in Las Vegas. I had fans and I had fame, which made me feel invincible.
Jen and young girl as a princess

I don’t wear glass slippers. I shatter them.

To: The old standard of beauty
From: Coach Jen Welter
Charity: Girl Up
Sponsor: Steve Nelson is donating $25 to Girl Up in honor of the first 25 shares of Jen's story
You told young girls like me to make sure we wear makeup, do our hair and wear the perfect dress, while we wait for a guy to change our whole story. The women you told us about include Cinderella and Snow White. No offense to Snow White, but she just laid there until some guy kissed her and woke her up.
Despite starting the sport late in life, Meghan became an Olympic rower.

I want my sport to look more like my country

To: The Rowing Community
From: Meghan O'Leary
Charity: Row New York
Sponsor: DJ Kristyles is donating $50 to Row New York in honor of the first 50 shares of Meghan's letter
Early in my rowing career, I was focused solely on improving myself and my abilities in order to excel. Now, my focus has somewhat shifted. With the 2020 Olympic Games less than eight months away and as I near the sunset of my elite rowing career, I’ve also begun to think about how I can help to improve the sport.
You can support Eric by donating to Team LeGrand.

To My Body…

To: My body
From: Eric LeGrand
Charity: Team LeGrand of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
Sponsor: Marcel Blythe is donating $200 to Team LeGrand in honor of the first 200 shares of Eric's letter
I remember the last thing I felt from you. It was your heels hitting the ground and then you went completely numb. I remember laying there and the trainers asking me if it was my head or my neck and could I feel this or could I feel that.
Jayrone says Coach Ginn was a critical part of his maturation process. Photo by Karin McKenna

Coach Ginn, I want you to know this is what you mean to me

To: Coach Ted Ginn
From: Jayrone Elliott
Charity: The Cleveland Transformation Alliance
Sponsor: The Morrow Group & Co will donate $25 to The Cleveland Transformation Alliance in honor of the first 25 shares of this letter
I have tried to thank you but you won’t let me. You don’t like the recognition. You are such an important part of my development, as it’s been your words and your wisdom that has shown me the way throughout my young life.
Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab is advocating for change for students.

The truth about higher education, hunger and homelessness

To: High school seniors
From: Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab
Charity: Believe In Students
Sponsor: Joel Cox is donating $100 to Believe In Students in honor of the first 100 shares of Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab's letter
Family matters. Ever since I was little, my grandfather has talked to me about the important role education plays in our family. He went to college on the GI Bill, which helped veterans pay for tuition. Education brought so many amazing blessings to his life, including my grandmother, who probably wouldn’t have married him if he hadn’t gone to college
Marti received criticism from opposing teams' parents.

This is what happens when you pitch like a girl

To: The parents who didn't think girls should play baseball
From: Marti Sementelli
Charity: Girls Travel Baseball
Sponsor: The Unsealed
“Don’t get beat by a girl.” That was the mentality you passed down to your sons simply by the way you treated me. You were the parents of players on the opposing teams. I heard the comments you made and the gossip that went around every time I stepped on the mound.
He became an acting New York State Supreme Court justice and a drug court judge for twelve years.

How my brain protected me when you failed to do so

To: Rockefeller Institute
From: Judge Charles Apotheker
Charity: Child USA
Sponsor: Lynn S Hilowitz esq will donate $100 to Child USA in honor of the first 100 shares of this story
My brain protected me when you failed to do so. Nearly 60 years ago, when I was 13 years old, I saw Dr. Reginald Archibald. He was a Pediatric Endocrinologist recommended to parents who worried about their children not growing.
Anthony was a star center at Okemos High School in Michigan

I have autism – Your doubt was my motivation

To: The people who thought autism meant I could not succeed,
From: Anthony Ianni
Charity: Northeast Ohio Autism Group
Sponsor: Nanna Frimpong is donating $25 to Northeast Ohio Autism Group in honor of the first 25 shares of Anthony's story
Before high school, my parents sat me down in the living room and told me I had autism. I didn’t even know what autism was at the time. But that’s when I learned about some of you, my earliest doubters.
Brock received a scholarship to play baseball before being drafted to play professionally.

From stroke to strikeouts, this is why you are a miracle

To: My son, Brock
From: Annette Begue
Charity: Mikey's Way
Sponsor: Uche Osadebe is donating $25 dollars to Mikeys Way in honor of the first 25 shares of this story
When you were a baby Dad would wake up in the middle of the night and run down the street to the church and pray and pray and pray. All we wanted was hope but we could not find another child with similar circumstances to give us that hope.
Mo says he is able to show his love for his daughter through basketball.

When I tell you “good game,” this is what I actually mean

To: My daughter, Zoe
From: Maurice Brooks
Charity: American Cancer Society
Sponsor: Dave McMenamin is donating 25 dollars in honor of the first 25 shares of Mo's letter
You know me. I am not the kind of dad to express my feelings. It’s not my style. But thankfully, we have basketball...
Alex says he always believed in himself.

To the executives who didn’t see my talent, this is what happened

To: The executives who didn't see my talent
From: Alex "Big Lip" Chisholm
Charity: Miami Foundation
Sponsor: Garren Bryant is givng 25 dollars in to the Miami Foundation in honor of the first 25 shares of this story
Mama would always say, “You are never going to go up until you hit rock bottom because when you hit rock bottom there is nowhere else to go but up.” Well, thanks partly to you, I hit rock bottom. But I didn’t stay there.
Jordana calls her son a little warrior

I was excited to be pregnant but scared to fight cancer

To: To my four-month-old son, Ethan
From: Jordana Beck
Charity: Susan G. Komen NYC
Sponsor: Erin Henderson is donating $50 to Susan G. Komen in honor of the first 50 shares of this letter
I am sure you have seen that sign in your nursery or maybe you noticed the necklace I often wear. You can’t read yet, but both say, “Warrior.” That’s the nickname you earned on your way here…
Amanda and Todd

How the loss of my dream led to the best gifts of my life

To: To those of you losing hope
From: Todd Krieg
Charity: $50 will go to St. Jude for the first 50 shares of this story
Sponsor: Bryan Morton
In my worst moments, I would ask myself, “Why me? Why did this happen to me?” I was trying to be a good person. My faith was strong and I felt like I was on top of the world in every aspect. Why did my whole world just come crashing down?
Alex is motivated to stay healthy by the love he has for his son.

I no longer need to be lucky to survive addiction, I just need you

To: My son, Karson
From: Alex Neutz
Charity: Kids Escaping Drugs
Sponsor: Courtney Dunn
Former University at Buffalo football star, Alex Neutz, writes an open letter to his one-year-old son about his past with addiction. He shares with his son the struggles he went through, the lessons he learned and how being a father has impacted him.
Trey used a fake voice to convince club owners to book him on his first tour

To the dreamers, Not everyone will see your vision

To: The dreamers
From: Trey Moe
Charity: Patrick's Kids
Sponsor: Sophie Colas
I am a comedian making a living uploading videos of funny sketches with me and a puppet. When I look at it from the outside, sometimes I am like, “Hold up, this sh*t really worked?” But the truth is I always believed. I just felt it.
Torrie Wilson encourages people to have a healthy mindset.

To the little girl who wants to be beautiful

To: The eight-year-old girl who wants to be beautiful
From: Torrie Wilson
Charity: DeliverFund
Sponsor: Thought Process LLC
I know exactly how you feel. When I was eight years old I didn’t feel good enough. I did not think I was cute. My best friend was skinnier than me and it was no secret. “Bigger boned” is what my parents would say about me when they jokingly compared me to my friend.
Angela Dennis with her children

To struggling single moms – This is how I found my way

To: Struggling single mothers
From: Angela Dennis
Charity: The African American Policy Forum
Sponsor: Joe Frimpong
I used to have this recurring dream of a little girl sitting on the steps. I wondered why no one would rescue her. Angela as a teenager with her oldest child I would pray, telling God, “She needs help. She needs someone to come get her.”
Sex trafficking survivor, Dorsey Jones, reflects on her difficult childhood.

I was having sex for food at 11. Now I am speaking out…

To: All the men who sexually abused me
From: Dorsey Jones
Charity: youthSpark
Sponsor: The Unsealed
You are the men who silenced me. You made me feel like I did something wrong. You made me think I was the little dirty whore in the community. I really thought I did this to myself. But in reality, it was all of you who did this to me.
Mike Hill met Cynthia Bailey on The Steve Harvey Show

I was afraid to love but this is how I fell…

To: Grandma Lillian
From: Mike Hill
Charity: American Cancer Society
Sponsor: David Cornwell
I still remember the last words you ever spoke to me just before you passed away more than 20 years ago. “Be happy,” you said. As simple as those two words sound, they held so much weight at a time when I was just alive but not living life authentically.
Tiara has been a cop in the Sixth District in Washington D.C. since 2015.

Many of you don’t even know me but I would risk my life for you

To: The Sixth District of Washington D.C.
From: Officer Tiara Brown
Charity: National Alliance of Mental Illness
Sponsor: Lou DiBella Entertainment is donating $150 to NAMI in honor of the first 150 shares of this letter
Throughout the last four years I have seen someone get shot in the head. I have answered the call for stabbings and rapes. I recently responded to a call about an 11-year-old boy who was beaten up and killed. I have walked into a scene where a lady slashed her boyfriend’s stomach from the top all the way down to the bottom.  It is hard to witness such crimes; but I still want to be here. In fact, when I graduated from the police academy in 2015 I chose to be here. I believe my purpose in life is to help the hopeless find hope.
Adam's sister Ariel inspired him to give back.

To my little sister with Down syndrome – This is what you taught me

To: Ariel Thomas
From: Adam Dixon
Charity: The Adam Dixon Perseverance Foundation
Sponsor: Erica Dechowitz
To my sister with Down syndrome - thanks for showing me the way I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. Your dad, my step dad, pulled me and our brother to the side and told us you and your twin sister finally arrived. He then told us that you Ariel had a condition called Down syndrome. I was seven at the time so I questioned what Down syndrome actually meant.  My step dad told me you were different. He told me people might make fun of you or laugh at you. As your big brothers, he asked us to watch out for you and take care of you. I have tried to guide you as best I can but as I look back it's actually you who has shown me the way.
Judah used to take pictures of the pills he'd consume

I was prescribed Adderall as a young child. This is what happened years later…

To: Addicts
From: Judah Holiday
Charity: The Humane Society
Sponsor: Paperclip & glue
I was completely out of my mind. One morning I had this psychotic break where I took a GoPro and violently threw it at my door and broke it. I felt high. I felt angry. I had flashes of feeling like a total monster. Concerned and frightened, my wife called my friend. He came to the house and they both took me to the emergency room because they thought I must be doing cocaine among other drugs.
Zac confided in Alison that he was struggling before he told anyone else.

CTE took your mind but I still have your heart…

To: Zac Easter, Alison's late boyfriend
From: Alison Epperson (Written with The Unsealed)
Charity: CTE Hope
Sponsor: The Unsealed
You told me you’d never leave me. But you did. I know you were just looking for peace. Yet sometimes I’m so sick with grief and sadness that I’m mad. I am mad that you’re not here. I am mad that I’m alone. I am mad at every person, moment and unknown that contributed to you developing that horrifying disease that ultimately took you from me and from the world.
Cyprien holds free football camps for children. Courtesy: Willy Dade

I focused on my choices not my struggle…

To: The CYPSQUAD Kids
From: Johnathan Cyprien
Charity: CypSquad ARY Foundation
Sponsor: Bentley Custom Solutions
When I was young, like you, I was considered an at-risk youth. My family struggled to the point where there were nights that I went to bed hungry. But even though we didn’t have a lot of money or even a lot of food, I didn’t worry and I don’t want you to worry either.
Hue Jackson was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 2016 to mid-way through the 2018 season.

Mom, I know you still believe in me

To: Hue Jackson's mother, Betty Lee Jackson
From: Hue Jackson (written with The Unsealed)
Charity: The Hue Jackson Foundation
Sponsor: D&S Vending, Inc
I know if you were here right now you would pop me upside the head and say, “Boy, chin up, head up and keep going.” But Mom, it hasn’t been easy. You are the one who taught me about wins and losses in life, especially early on. We lived in gang neighborhoods in Los Angeles: first 52nd and Hoover and  then we moved to 5th Avenue and 60th Street. We lacked money. We were a lower-class family in a tough environment.

I could be on the path to make millions. I choose to be here with you.

To: The community that raised me
From: Alex Robertson (written with Lauren Brill and Audra Frimpong)
Charity: Recess Cleveland
Sponsor: The Unsealed
I often interchange the words community and family. Communities should watch out for each other. Families should watch out for each other. Communities should help each other out. Families should help each other out.

I thought it was love. It was abuse…

To: Gab's Ex Boyfriend (written with Lauren Brill and Audra Frimpong)
From: Gab Kreuz
Charity: Love Doesn't Shove
Sponsor: The Unsealed
I am now seven years removed from the last time you put your hands on me.  Seven years ago my words to you would have been a lot different than they are now because I was really broken. A lot of your lies, a lot of your behavior, a lot of the things you said to me absolutely broke me. I trusted you. I really cared about you. I didn’t realize at the time how much the way you treated me negatively impacted me and my self-image.
Antoine Mason writes a letter to his late father.

Dear Dad… It’s Me.

To: Anthony Mason
From: Antoine Mason
Charity: Cristian Rivera Foundation
Sponsor: Alan B. Brill & Associates
It has been almost exactly four years since you died and there is not a day, not a second, that I don’t miss you. More than anything I just want to tell you that I love you. I vividly remember the day I lost you. Mom and I were holding your hands when you passed.