Valentine’s Day is all about sharing love with friends and family. It’s also a great opportunity to encourage charitable giving and random acts of kindness. My four and six-year-old love sharing cards with their classmates, and they’ve been excited to make a few extra to send to kids who are hospitalized at a local children’s hospital over Valentine’s Day.
Here are five easy, fun ways to spread a little love this Valentine’s Day.
1. Send an e-Valentine
It’s too late to send a homemade paper Valentine to soldiers via Hugs for Soldiers or other methods – mark your calendar for the late January deadline next year! But it’s not too late to send a message to veterans through Generation On, or send virtual Valentines to kids at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. It doesn’t cost anything, and it will brighten up someone’s day.
2. Hugs for Animal Lovers
The World Wildlife Fund makes it easy for animal lovers to share Valentine’s wishes with six free e-cards. Or, you can donate to the World Wildlife Fund and send a gift e-card, like this cute one of two elephants sharing a sweet nuzzle.
3. Make Homemade Valentines
My kids jumped at the chance to share cards with strangers who might need a little cheering. Break out the construction paper, glitter, and glue, and create homemade cards for residents of nursing homes or local shelters.
4. Warm Hands, Warm Hearts
Baby, it’s cold outside. Basic physical needs, like frozen fingers in negative degree weather, are something that kids of all ages understand. Hold a coat drive or a hats, gloves, and wool socks drive to share some tangible warmth to people in your community. The Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program collects new white socks year round – and collected over 21,000 pairs last year!
5. Share A Hearty Meal
With the recent cuts in SNAP (informally known as food stamps), more people are visiting emergency food providers. The Food Bank of New York City reported that almost half of all food pantries ran out of food this past November. Help keep shelves stocked by donating canned goods or money – just $1 donated to Food Bank of the Rockies equals four meals.