Valentine's Day

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7 Ideas For Places Your Kids Can Send Valentines, From Nursing Homes to Hospitals

Spread the love this year.

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When you first started buying Valentine’s Day cards, you probably purchased them for a loved one or your partner. But then, cards got cuter (and well, your kid came along, too), so naturally your child got one, too, along with their doting grandparents, favorite aunts and uncles, and the 30+ kiddos in your child’s classroom. But what about the people who might not be lucky enough to get an actual card? These 7 places to send Valentine’s Day cards can make someone happy.

The sad truth of the matter is that some people who really need to feel the love on Valentine’s Day aren’t getting any cards. And while sending an e-card might be quicker (and woot, cheaper), there’s nothing like a wonkily constructed piece of construction paper crafted by a kid to make someone’s Valentine’s Day lovelier. After all, nothing beats opening a card to find a child’s sloppy signature and a gush of glitter inside to give someone the warm fuzzies inside.

Each of the organizations below have their own requirements when sending cards, so be sure to check out their policies before beginning your project. Then get ready to put a little love in your heart (and get out the glitter glue) and start crafting some cards that will make Valentine’s Day happy for someone who might need a little love (and hope) right about now.

1

Valentines For Active Duty Military: Soldiers & Troops

What better way to show your support for our troops than by sending a little love their way? A Valentine’s Day card is the perfect pick-me-up for soldiers who might be stationed thousand of miles away. Soldiers’ Angels works to get Valentines to military personnel so they can feel like they’re home again. In addition to sending your handcrafted card, you’ll need to include $1 which helps to defray the cost of shipping your card to overseas troops and VA hospitals.

Hugs for Soldiers also helps send hugs (and Valentine’s Day cards) to our troops. Letters must be handwritten and it’s not necessary to include an envelope. Glitter is a no-no, but you can include your child’s name or email if you want them to potentially receive a reply (and perhaps a penpal) from a soldier.

2

Valentines For Sick Children

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Listen, it sucks to be sick, and even more so if you’re a child. Cards for Hospitalized Kids collects cards for kids year-round, and are distributed to children in hospitals monthly. The guidelines include sending cards in advance of the holiday and making sure that if your kiddo wants to get crafty with the glue gun and glitter that everything is well-attached to the cards so that they’re not falling off.

Another organization, Send A Smile 4 Kids, also collects and distributes cards to sick children. All the cards need to be handmade, and should be geared towards kids ages 1-19. The cards need to come from a smoke and pet-free home to ensure the health and safety of patients. The cards need to be positive, and the organization asks that they left be blank inside so the hospital staff can personalize them for the children.

3

Valentines For Organ Transplants

The wait for a new organ can take years, (a new kidney can take up to 3-5 years), the National Kidney Foundation reported. This Valentine’s Day, make the pledge to participate as an organ donor. Donate Life PA has these cute and shareable cards that depict your decision to give the gift of life this Valentine’s Day—and hopefully encourage others to do the same.

Another alternative is to register with Donate Life, where you can become an organ, tissue, or eye donor.

4

Valentines For Refugees

Right now, there are about 26 million refugees globally, and of that, half are children, Amnesty International reported. You can help bring some love (and light) into their lives with a Valentine’s Day card. Choose Love allows you to pick some much-needed essentials such as Hot Food ($15), Firewood & Heating ($20), or Education For Children ($25.00). Once you’ve picked a gift, you can create an ecard that will go to a family and children in need.

Another option is the Jesuit Refugee Service and Any Refugee, which work to provide inspiration, hope, and connection to both children in the U.S. and refugee children worldwide. Kids can craft a Valentine’s Day card, draw a sweet picture of a heart, and write a message that would work well for any child, regardless of race, culture, or religion.

5

Valentines For Nursing Homes

Social isolation is a very real thing for so many seniors in nursing homes. Help them get excited over snail mail when you send them a Valentine’s Day card. Keep it creative, fun, and positive (no mentioning Covid!), and handwrite your letter—don’t type it. You can tell a senior something about yourself, or even a silly joke…anything to brighten their day. You can mail your letter to Love For Our Elders, which ensures that seniors will receive it.

Want to make it more personal? Contact your local nursing home to see what their policies are about sending Valentine’s Day cards to their residents. You can even ask for a specific person to write to who might be feeling extra lonely right about now.

6

Valentines For Neighbors

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Who says that you have to send your Valentines halfway around the world? Look around your neighborhood to see who could use a little pick-me-up? It might be an older neighbor who doesn’t get to see family too often because of the pandemic, or a child who’s new to the nabe and might need help making some friends.

7

Valentines For Veterans

In order to honor service members who have fought for our country, a Valentine’s Day card can show the love. You can participate in “Valentines for Veterans”, which is a yearly Exchange campaign that sends homemade cards to veterans’ hospitals, military retirement facilities, and Fisher Houses (where military and veteran families can stay for free while their partner is in the hospital, Fisher House reported.) You can either go to a participating exchange facility and fil out a card, or bring a homemade one to send.

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