Meet Teresa Catherine Rose, Founder Letters-from-the-Heart, Inc. in West Palm Beach, FL 

Twelve years ago Terry Rose worked for a large hospital system in Central Florida.  She wasn’t a doctor or nurse, orderly or admissions clerk, technician or administrator.  She was a marketing representative who called upon nursing and other long-term care facilities that served the elderly. 

“The first thing I would see when entering one of these facilities was the wheelchair occupants strategically placed throughout the lobby,” Rose said.  “Entering the building caused every face to turn and display that most expectant of expressions which silently cried ‘Are you here to see ME?’”  This experience was so upsetting she decided she had to do something about the isolation and loneliness she was seeing day after day.  When she determined she could give the gift of letters to these people, she founded the Make Someone Smile program.   Personalized and hand-crafted, Rose’s 2-3 page letters are mailed once-a-month for an entire year and include a birthday card and gift and a December holiday card and gift. 

In 2007, the Make Someone Smile program evolved into Letters-from-the-Heart, Inc.   Who buys Letters-from-the-Heart?  Most purchasers are individual family members, though others who utilize this service are eldercare attorneys, court-appointed guardians, trust attorneys — anyone responsible for the care of an elderly person.  The fee for this annual program is modestly priced at $250 regardless of where in the world the recipient may live.

Rose never expects the recipients of her letters to write back.  She assures them in her introductory letter that she does not expect return mail; she only hopes they enjoy receiving her letters as much as she enjoys sending them.  The mission of Letters-from-the-Heart is to bring friendship and enjoyment into the lives of elderly people.   “These folks are of the era of hand-written letters,” said Rose.   “They are the ones who had beautiful penmanship, appreciated lovely stationery, sent thank you notes, and shared their joys and heartaches on paper.  It is truly an honor for me to brighten their lives in this small way.”

Rose is quick to point out that Letters-from-the-Heart is not a substitute for family caring but, rather, is an opportunity to offer a consistent and ongoing friendship to loved ones who miss their long-time friends and companions.  Receiving a hand-written letter in the mail is always an uplifting and fun experience, no matter what one’s age.  Maybe someday she will write to you!

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