Community provides unique valentines for adults with special needs 

In late January, a businesswoman from central Utah was in the Salt Lake City area to attend meetings. On her way out of town, she stopped by a facility for adults with special needs to visit her aunt who lived there. She tries to visit her sweet aunt every chance she gets, but it is challenging living more than 120 miles away. After leaving her visit with her aunt, she dropped by a good friend’s office for a quick visit before jumping on the freeway and heading home. The business woman tearfully explained how heartbreaking it is to leave her aunt, while she also feels so guilty not seeing her more frequently. Her friend empathized with the businesswomen’s plight, but felt powerless. The friend had a consoling thought:  “How about I give her a fun Valentine?” The heartbroken business woman smiled and agreed that this would be nice. 

When her friend left, the businesswoman took on the role of a Cupid and decided she would get a few friends to help and make Valentines for the entire group home where the aunt resided so that nobody would be left out. She sent a message to her group of friends about those who live at the group home, and more than 30 people enthusiastically offered to help. Touched by the response and feeling inspired, they decided to add a local nursing home to the efforts, too. As the donations rolled in and volunteers were insistent on helping, another small nursing home, and later a large nursing home were added to the collective efforts. 

Two full evenings were dedicated to putting together valentines, and as the weeks went on, word spread of the kind acts being made. The owners of Dowdle Folk Art puzzles donated 30 puzzles when they learned that many in the nursing homes loved puzzles.

A local builder and businessman Josh Pettit and his wife Jodi Pettit donated some heart stones with little cards. Emily Magill and Ashley Siepert of Intercap Lending donated the venue to assemble, as well as candy, fortune cookies, trinkets, small perfumes, bubbles, boxes and bags. Jenifer North, owner of Maximalist Hippie Boutique donated loads of jewelry and sweet accessories. Audree Flanders of Save the Day Seasonings donated cute card cut-outs with chocolate kisses on them. 

Donors along with dozens of volunteers spent time crafting Valentines and delivering them with good spirits and open hearts.

This collaborative effort of love extended valentines to 18 folks in a group home for angels with special needs in south Salt Lake Valley, 24 residents in a south Utah county skilled nursing facility, 18 folks in a retirement home in North Utah county and 60 small valentines to a large skilled nursing facility in central Utah. 

A few families flocked to the group home with darling children who brought a lot of joy to the residents. Hugs and warm tides were exchanged. Two of the families expressed how much they enjoyed the experience and how they intend to make it a routine to go visit their newfound friends regularly. One of the volunteers that went to two nursing homes expressed how surprisingly lonely the residents were. Many recipients thanked them for the thoughtful gift and then asked that they not forget to come back again soon. 

Experts agree that one of the best ways to create more happiness for yourself is to serve or do kind deeds for others. So the next time you feel sad or down and out, consider taking a visit to your local group home or skilled nursing facility. I can almost guarantee that you cannot imagine the impact. Make “Project Cupid” part of your life in all kinds of ways.

Submitted by Emily Magill

Publisher’s Note:

This is a wonderful example of people coming together to do good to bless the lives of people at various locations. 

Recently, it has come to my attention on a more personal basis that people in hospitals, hospice, and so forth, are often lonely and could use a listening ear.

If you have the time, or even if you don’t, take time to visit any friends or family and spend a good chunk of time with them. Also, maybe just see if its ok to visit someone at random to give them your time, a little bit of love, some hope, and someone to talk to. Staring at 4 walls all day, essentially in isolation, isn’t fun. 

Remember to Serve Daily . . .

Guest Contributor
Guest Contributor
Articles from community members to share their viewpoints, or letter to the editor.

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