that address TRUTH
& deliver IMPACT
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
How your life can give light to my mom’s legacy
To: Gabrielle Union-Wade
From: Vernon Turner
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.
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.
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.
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.
How the fire in my joints fueled my purpose
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.
I don’t wear glass slippers. I shatter them.
To: The old standard of beauty
From: Coach Jen Welter
Charity: Girl Up
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.
Dad, Here is what I never got the chance to tell you
From: Reggie Jagers III
Sponsor: A friend of The Unsealed is donating $50 to St. Jude's for the first 50 shares of this letter
For a long time, I was hurting from your absence but deep down I always hoped some day we would repair our relationship. We share the same name and for a long time, that gave me a chip on my shoulder. You were a very good local athlete, who played football and baseball and ran track. I wanted my shoes to be bigger than yours.
To My Body…
To: My body
From: Eric LeGrand
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.
Coach Ginn, I want you to know this is what you mean to me
To: Coach Ted Ginn
From: Jayrone Elliott
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.
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
“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.
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.
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.
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.
When I tell you “good game,” this is what I actually mean
To: My daughter, Zoe
From: Maurice Brooks
Charity: American Cancer Society
You know me. I am not the kind of dad to express my feelings. It’s not my style. But thankfully, we have basketball...
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.
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…
How the loss of my dream led to the best gifts of my life
To: To those of you losing hope
From: Todd Krieg
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?
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.
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.
To the little girl who wants to be beautiful
To: The eight-year-old girl who wants to be beautiful
From: Torrie Wilson
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.
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.”
I was having sex for food at 11. Now I am speaking out…
To: All the men who sexually abused me
From: Dorsey Jones
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.
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.
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.
To my little sister with Down syndrome – This is what you taught me
To: Ariel Thomas
From: Adam Dixon
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.
I was prescribed Adderall as a young child. This is what happened years later…
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
With the simple click of a button, I gave my years of pain a purpose
From: Lauren Brill
Charity: Bella Abzug Leadership Institute
In April of 2017, before the MeToo movement, I wrote an open letter to sexual assault survivors, sharing details about an attack where two strangers drugged and abused a 16-year-old high school student. The attack was cut short when the young girl’s limp body fell off the bed. The attackers, I believe, thought she might have died from the drugs they gave her. They panicked and quickly left the scene. That 16-year-old, who then crawled out the room looking for help, was me
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
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
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.
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.