Spreading Love to Charity on Valentine’s Day

Spreading Love to Charity on Valentine's Day | Houston Moms Blog

Ah St. Valentine’s Day. Love it or hate it, just reading the name probably floods you with memories. As a thirty something adult, I know I’ve had three realms of experience with the day.

  1. As a kid, I LOVED it! That morning, we’d prep our bags or boxes with enough hearts, glue, and glitter to blind people a mile away. Of course the best part was the party. After delivering my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cards, I’d dive into my bag and hope for more chocolate than antacid hearts. {God bless you if you love those candies, I’ve just never had the stomach}. The day would end in a virtual Thanksgiving feast of chocolate followed by a deep sugar crash sleep.
  2. As a teacher :: my memories include riding the wave of candy chaos. The kids had survived the doldrums of January and were always avidly counting down the days to this holiday. After the generous gifts of chocolates and cards from my students, and a morning of anticipating celebration, the party would begin! Room moms would come in and decorate the place to the nines, and having already delivered my Valentines during my off period, I would sit back and smile watching Valentine’s Day joy wash over the faces of this new generation.
  3. As an adult :: it serves as date night on or near the day {depending on shift schedule} that my husband and I share. The day is full of flowers, candy, and special time to spend together as a family and as a couple. We either go out to one of our favorite places, or have a floor picnic with takeout {because :: kids}. 

But what if it wasn’t…

What if Valentine’s Day was just a day like any other. It’s just a day between the 13th and 15th of February. Sometimes it’s indicated by a note or a heart on a wall calendar.

Maybe someone’s version of Valentine’s Day is sitting in a hospital bed, reminiscing about those classroom parties. 

Maybe someone’s Valentine’s Day this year will be standing in line at a soup kitchen, and the person who doles out their helping will wish them a Happy Valentine’s Day as they go to sit in the warm building for a few extra minutes.

Although we may feel powerless to change situations beyond our control for people {such as illness or homelessness}, we CAN do something for people who may otherwise be forgotten on Valentine’s Day.

“There are no great things. Only small things with great love.” – St. Teresa of Calcutta

Although small, in the days and weeks before Valentine’s Day this year, we can sit down with our kids and help them to do something for someone else with great love by making and sending Valentines to those in our world that need some extra love on this day. 

To help you do just that with your kids, I’ve put together a sampling of categories of charities and organizations that serve people in our city who would benefit from receiving a Valentine from your family. Within these categories, I have included specific organizations, their addresses, and guidelines for your Valentines which you’ll see below. Additionally, to make the activity even more meaningful for your family, I have suggestions for picture books to pair with the activity. By reading about who you are writing to and then having your children create Valentines for that group, you’ll find a valuable way to create more empathy and compassion in your children as well.

Homeless Shelters

Star of Hope Mission

Star of Hope Mission is a wonderful organization dedicated to providing a variety of services for homeless individuals {men, women, and children} in Houston.

Address ::

Attn: Volunteer Services
4848 Loop Central Dr.
Suite 500
Houston, TX 77081

Guidelines for Valentines ::
  • Messages should be resoundingly positive, can be Christ-centered, and please do not include glitter.
Book Suggestions ::

Children’s Hospitals

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

A hospital dedicated to treating children with cancer at no cost to the family.

Address ::

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, TN 38105

Guidelines :: 
  • Messages should be generic, and no glitter please.

Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital

If you’d like to keep your cards local, this is a fantastic hospital in Houston that treats children.

Address ::

Attn: Volunteer Services
6411 Fannin
Houston, TX 77030

Guidelines::
  • Please keep messages neutral in tone {non-political, non-religious}, and no glitter.
Book Suggestions ::

Orphanages/Foster Homes

Casa de Esperanza

This is a unique organization in Houston that houses children {who were previously in situations of crisis} from ages newborn to age 6 in foster homes until they are adopted.

Address ::

Attn. Volunteer Services
P.O. Box 66581
Houston, TX 77266-6581

Guidelines ::
  • Please keep messages non-political and non-religious, and do not include small parts or glitter.
  • The children really enjoy having coloring pages in their cards and Valentines.
Book Suggestions ::

Nursing Homes

Because there are a wide variety of nursing homes in Houston, I did not choose a specific address, but know that our elderly population in Houston very MUCH enjoy receiving cards, and it would be a welcome light in their day.

Guidelines ::
  • Please keep messages non-political and non-religious, and do not include glitter in your cards.
Book Suggestions ::

Veteran’s Hospitals

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

This is a hospital right in Houston that treats our US Military Veterans.

Address ::

Attn. Volunteer Services
2002 Holcombe Blvd
Houston, TX 77030

Guidelines ::
  • Please keep messages non-religious and non-political, no glitter, and consider a message thanking them for their service.
Book Suggestions ::

As St. Teresa of Calcutta said, “It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” Even though this gesture may feel small, know that you are making a BIG difference in someone’s life. In doing so, I know that not only will you brighten someone else’s day, but also you’ll make your own Valentine’s Day that much more meaningful for your family.

Spreading Love to Charity on Valentine's Day | Houston Moms Blog

 


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