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Valentines for Veterans

It’s a universal truth: homemade cards from little kids are magical. And what better time to spread a little magic than in the depths of winter, for Valentine’s Day!

This year, consider sending your little one’s artwork to someone who deserves an extra smile.

If your kids are anything like mine, they’ve already made a stack of Valentine’s Day cards without really knowing who they’re for. Maybe your kids have no idea what Valentine’s Day is, but you’ve got a ream of paper and 100s of heart stickers at the ready. Whatever your crafting status is, this is an idea for you.

Every year, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) accepts Valentines from Canadian schools, individuals, and organizations as part of its Valentines for Vets program. The VAC shares the cards and artwork with veterans in long-term care facilities across the country.

The program has been running through VAC since 1996; its roots are in an Ann Landers column from 1989, in which the writer asked her readers to honour their nations’ Veterans by making hand-crafted valentines.

If you’d like to participate, send your valentines to VAC Head Office by February 1. The mailing address is:

Valentines for Vets
Veterans Affairs Canada
Commemoration, Distribution Unit
125 Maple Hills Ave.
Charlottetown, PE
C1C 0B6

For tips on what you should and should not include (greeting card size is best; put your child’s name and age, but not their contact information; write a message addressing the Veteran, etc.), visit the VAC website.

You can also spread some love closer to home. Perhaps there’s a seniors’ residence nearby that would gladly accept them. Maybe a local small options home would appreciate the extra mail. Or maybe there’s a special neighbour or community helper (bus driver, mailman, crossing guard) that could use an extra smile.

Lots of folks complain about Valentine’s Day being a commercial holiday. This is a sure way to make it meaningful for your family!

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