Valentine’s Day is on Sunday and perhaps nobody is more aware of that than the students at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School, who have sent about 2,000 Valentine’s Day cards to local seniors in long-term care and retirement homes.
Julie Bell, a kindergarten teacher at the school, and her daughter Lauren have been delivering the cards to the long-term care facilities this week.
Bell says she was inspired to start the project with her students after hearing about a similar act of kindness.
“I got the idea from a man who ordered flowers for every resident in a retirement home in Gananoque,” Bell said.
What started as a class project for one seniors’ residence in Amherstview grew to include all 500 students at the school, from kindergarten to Grade 8.
That expansion in the valentine card labour force also means many more seniors’ homes — 17 of them to be exact — are getting cards.
“There are three in Amherstview and then the rest were all in Kingston, and we even did one in Glenburnie,” Bell said.
It’s a gesture that Bob Brey, from Chartwell Conservatory Pond, says has brought a little light to residents during a year completely turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic.
“This year is maybe the first year where they haven’t been able to go out on Valentine’s Day or spend the day with their loved ones,” Brey said.
To meet that 2,000-card total, Bell and her daughter Lauren worked through the weekend completing 300 cards on their own, but for Lauren, the hard work was worth it.
“It makes me feel like I’m making the whole entire world crack a big smile,” said five-year-old Lauren.