Letter to Doris: What Doris Taught Senior Program Officer Sherlynn

Our passionate and dedicated staff is an important piece in making Doris’ philanthropic vision possible. Every day, our Program Officers work tirelessly to help our clients get the hand up they need to stabilize their lives.

Senior Program Officer, Sherlynn, has been working one-on-one with clients as part of Doris’ giving for a decade. Her relationships with Hospitality House in Maine and Jewish Family Services in Florida were instrumental in the pilot phase of our Community Partners Program. Sherlynn wrote a letter to Doris detailing her gratitude for being part of the work that Doris and the Letters Foundation do:


Dear Doris,

“Thank you” does not express the full range of emotions of my gratitude for entrusting me to be part of the wonderful work that you’ve created.

When I first met you over ten years ago, I was intrigued by your one-on-one approach to giving, and the wide spectrum of tools and resources you use to help those in need. I was impressed,  curious, and hungry to learn more. After eight years of working in education, I was at a point in my life where I was uncertain of continuing on my set career path. I had the opportunity to meet with you, Doris, and was thrilled when you asked me to become part of your team, one of  “The Maine Ladies” as you say. I was in awe of your determination and commitment to make a difference in the life of each person who wrote to you. YOU, Doris, are the real deal.

You taught me that every person deserves a response, and would not be ignored. I am eternally grateful to have the opportunity to carry out your mission, and I aspire to continue your legacy with the utmost respect for your vision of helping those in need.


Doris, you taught me

the importance of disciplined empathy

and that money is not the only way to solve a problem.


Thank you, Doris,

for believing in me,

for entrusting me to carry out your vision,

and for showing me the true meaning of a hand up.


Thank you, Doris,

for your forward thinking,

for your introspect,

and for your investment in people.


Thank you, Doris

for seeing people as individuals and hearing them,

for having a no-nonsense approach to life’s problems,

for providing resources that are meaningful and helpful,

And for understanding that lives can be hard to improve.


Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Doris, for giving me the opportunity to do your work. How can I even put into words the value of your generosity?


You have given away more than money.

Your idealism has been brought to life in a pragmatic way.

Your unassuming, quiet yet strong nature is one I admire most in true leadership.

You have shown others how to give in a way that maintains  dignity and respect for all individuals, regardless of need.


What you have done is special, and I can only hope that others keep learning and thinking outside of the box just like you have always done.

When I reflect on the work that we do, the quote below brings a sense of peace to my own life, both personally and professionally. We all experience bumps, some larger than others. Learning and accepting how to move forward can be a struggle…thank you, Doris for helping so many people move ahead.


“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

-C.S. Lewis


With sincere warmth & gratitude,