Spread a little extra love this season.
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Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday, and one of my top ways to celebrate is by sending cards. Some years I make my own valentines, and others I send purchased cards (this year I'm sending personalized Valentine's Day cards from Minted). I send them to practically everyone I know—my friends, grandparents, cousins, and coworkers have all come to expect a pink and red card from me in mid-February.

While we're all going to be spending the day a little differently due to the pandemic (hello, virtual Valentine's Day dates and at-home dinners for two), there are some people who could use a little extra love this season. So, I found a few extra people to add to my Valentine's Day card list: Patients at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and seniors living in long-term care facilities. 

Due to health risks and COVID-19 protocols, both groups will spend Valentine's Day inside their respective facilities, likely with restricted visitors. Luckily, there are a few easy ways you can send some Valentine's Day cheer to them.

woman opening valentine
Credit: anandaBGD/Getty Images

Sent a Virtual Valentine to a St. Jude Patient

Most kids spend Valentine's Day exchanging cards and candy with their friends, but for patients at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (the world's top pediatric cancer center), the day will be spent attending appointments and receiving treatments. But the children's hospital is making it easy to send the patients some extra love with virtual valentines. 

Head to the St. Jude website to create your own virtual Valentine's Day card—there are six designs to choose from, all inspired by artwork created by patients at St. Jude. Once you've selected your design, type a heartfelt message. If words aren't your thing, you also have the option to use one of their pre-written messages. And the best part is, there's no limit to how many you can create. Once you've submitted your virtual cards, the hospital staff will distribute them to patients spending the holiday there.

Valentines For Seniors

An Illinois community has put out a call for Valentine's Day cards for some of their eldest residents. The new Valentines For Seniors Program, started by state senator Senator Dave Syverson, recently put out a call for valentines they can distribute to various long-term care facilities for the holiday. Participating is easy—just make a few homemade Valentine's Day cards (or write heartfelt messages in a pack of store-bought cards!) and mail them to the collection site. Local residents can also drop off cards in person (you can find the locations here), but are asked to wear a mask and follow social-distancing guidelines during drop off. 

Cards can be mailed to: Senator Dave Syverson, State of Illinois Building, 200 S. Wyman, Suite 302, Rockford, IL 61101.

The last day to receive the cards is February 10, so don't wait to get yours in the mail. You can also consider calling nursing homes and other long-term facilities in your own community and ask them if they accept card drop-offs. No matter who you send your valentines to, you'll be spreading kindness this season—something we could all use more of during these times.


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