February 16, 2017

MARTIN, Tenn. – Members of all 21 athletic programs at the University of Tennessee at Martin gathered Wednesday night to participate in the Letters in Motion event hosted in the Boiling University Center Ballroom.

Letters in Motion is a faith based non-profit organization that is dedicated to bridging the literacy gap one letter at a time. The idea behind the organization is to host mass letter writing events in order to educate the groups on the major literacy gap in Nepal and in other developing countries. Each athlete sent personalized letters to some of the children in underprivileged countries that will be hand delivered by the organization.

Freshman defensive lineman Julian Crutchfield of the UT Martin football team says that getting to actually take action, as opposed to just talking about, is what makes this event special.

“I think it is awesome that UT Martin is trying to make a positive impact in the world,” Crutchfield said. “A lot of people just like to talk about the problems and never do anything about them, but you can tell that here. They really want to make a difference in some of these places.”

Courtney Sellers, a co-founder of Letters in Motion, hosted the event in which 284 Skyhawk student-athletes participated. She expressed how important it is for athletes to get involved specifically because of what they exemplify to children in other countries.

“I think that athletes are perfect candidates for joining the letter movement,” Sellers said. “Specifically because athletes understand what it means to work hard in order to make their dreams come true. What we need from these kids in Nepal and in other countries is for them to know if they work hard and pursue their education, they can have a better life.”

Sophomore Sydney Lintner, who is a member of the Skyhawk equestrian team, says that expressing how important staying in school is to the children of Nepal is what makes this experience worth it.

“It is really cool how we are effecting kids all the way across the world and how we get to share our stories with them,” Lintner said. “We just want to tell the kids we hope they are doing well in school and share stories of our own education and how important it is.”

Altogether, the UT Martin athletes wrote almost 500 letters for the initiative. Those letters will be hand-delivered this summer when the Letters in Motion staff heads back to Nepal.