Valentine’s Day doesn’t always have to be about romance. Sometimes it can be a day to let someone know you are thinking of them. That’s what the “Valentines for Veterans” program is intended to do.
This marked the second year for the program, which allowed community members to send greeting cards to local veterans in VA hospitals and veterans service organizations. U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, 3rd District of Missouri, became involved with the program in its first year saying, it is his hope the 3rd District takes a moment and creates a valentine to be sent throughout the district to the men and women who so bravely fought for the safety of our nation. “This is a simple way for schools, youth groups, families and friends to help brighten a veterans day,” Congressman Luetkemeyer wrote in a press release dated January 8, 2016.
Over 9,000 cards and messages were dropped off at his offices for the inaugural year! So, in January 2017, Congressman Luetkemeyer asked for community members to once again participate in “Valentine’s for Veterans.” He of course wanted to collect even more cards this year.
When Sheri Wiltse, Chief Program Officer of Community Living, heard about the program, she took the idea to Courtney Corder, Support Coordinator at Clever Center, one of the four Support Services for Adults centers. Participants at the Clever Center have been making paper for over a year now. It started as birthday cards for individuals in Community Living’s Residential and Independent Living Assistance programs, but now they are making ‘thank you’ cards, invitations and so much more. “Making a Valentine’s Day card wouldn’t be any trouble,” Courtney said.
On February 1, participants and staff dropped off 20 valentines to Congressman Luetkemeyer’s office in Wentzville. “This opportunity gave our participants a purpose knowing that they are making someone’s day,” Courtney said.
In total, 13,000 veterans had their day made when valentines were distributed to veterans around the 3rd District. “I am incredibly amazed at the response by the community to the program,” Congressman Luetkemeyer wrote in a press release dated February 14, 2017. “Last year my local offices received an outpouring of support and this year surpassed those numbers.”
The 3rd District includes Callaway, Cole, Franklin, Gasconade, Lincoln, Maries, Miller, Montgomery, Osage and Warren counties, as well as areas of Camden, Jefferson and St. Charles Counties.
If you would like more information on the cards the participants at Clever Center make, call 636-970-2800. They can make any type of greeting card and specialty cards.