Kisses are being dispensed around the Center for Religion, Spirituality, and Social Justice (CRSSJ). Well, Hershey’s kisses, that is. But the giddy mood is infectious nonetheless.
Sure, some jaded college students may dismiss the sentimentality of the holiday along with sweets, sparkly heart stickers, or Celine Dion love songs, but there is something more happening here at the CRSSJ — an innocent excitement for Valentine’s Day rarely experienced after elementary school.
Grinnell students are making Valentine’s Day cards for local senior citizens from some of the nearby assisted living facilities. Some of the cards are quite beautiful and creative, while others, like mine, are … well... it’s the thought that counts. Right?
Valentines for Seniors is an event the CRSSJ has been supporting for the past three years, associated with the Adopt-a-Grandparent program and the Grandparents Service Group. However, Valentines for Seniors has been going on in Grinnell for nine years now.
“Valentines for Seniors” is an event the CRSSJ has been holding for nine years now, associated with the Adopt-a-Grandparent program.
Michael Hunt, Lilly Religious Life Intern, led the organization of the event. “Students realize the desire for everyone to have love in their lives and experience love,” he says. “It’s a chance to brighten someone’s day.” Although Valentine’s Day is sometimes considered a couples-only holiday, Hunt expands the spirit of Valentine’s Day to include everyone. “Valentine’s Day is about knowing you’re loved, that you love others.”
Zasha Russell ’11, leader of the Grandparents Service Group, agrees. “Valentine’s Day gives us the opportunity to show we care.”
Some had specific grandparents in mind, but most were addressed to no one in particular. They will be distributed to seniors on Valentine’s Day to likely great excitement from the recipients. One student said making the valentines not only got her into the holiday spirit — it was also rewarding to know someone would be enjoying a little reminder that they are cared for. It seems that by merely spreading love around, these students got to keep a little bit of it for themselves.