Christmas letters inspire patients at U of M Children's Hospital

A personal letter is something special, no matter what time of year one might receive it.

Yet this Christmas season, a trove of letters for patients at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital seem to take on extra special significance.

"YOU are an amazing child! YOU are strong and courageous. YOU are a hero! YOU are loved," one letter read. "I am here to remind you today to stay strong, and to let you know you are not alone in this fight," another says.

The idea came from a local children's book company, "I See Me!" which specializes in personalized stories. They expected to receive maybe a hundred letters, and ended up getting more than 1,600 responses--Germany, Ireland, South Korea and almost every state in the Union were represented.

"It was inspired by the Miracle on 34th Street movie," I See Me! Marketing Director Ryan Guldberg said. "The U.S. Postal Service comes in with bags of letters and dumps them on the desk."

It was a scene I See Me! was hoping to recreate, as an organization with a big heart but a much smaller pocketbook.

"We aren't a giant corporation that can donate tons of money," Guldberg said. "But we still wanted to do something that was really special."