How to Send Valentines to St. Jude Patients and Senior Citizens

Spread a little extra love this season.

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.

And this season, there are some people who could use a little extra love. 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 ongoing health risks and COVID-19 protocols, both groups will spend Valentine's Day inside their respective facilities this year, likely with restricted visitors. Luckily, there are a few easy ways you can send some Valentine's Day cheer to them.

woman opening valentine
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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. Once you've selected a card 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

Last February, an Illinois community put out a call for Valentine's Day cards for some of their eldest residents. The Valentines For Seniors Program, started by state senator Senator Dave Syverson, began in 2021 as a way to cheer up local seniors around Valentine's Day.

And this year, they're doing it again! The Senator's office 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 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 7, 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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