Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate all things love – meaning ALL kinds of love! Whether it’s being romantic love with a significant other, unconditional love with friends and family or that loving bond you share with a pet, there’s nothing better than feeling loved and supported by those you love the most. This Valentine’s Day, I’m going to challenge you to spread some of that love (safely) around to those who may need a little extra boost this year. Here’s five socially-distanced ways you can volunteer to spread love – not just this Valentine’s day, but every day.
- The Letter Project
The Letter Project is an international letter writing organization aiming to help girls of all ages, from all over the world, who may be going through a hard time. Although the organization is faith-based, neither letter writers nor recipients must be involved in a certain faith – the aim is simply to support women and girls everywhere. Any girl over the age of thirteen can volunteer to be a letter writer, and there are plenty of templates and writing tips provided on their website. They even include tips for hosting events like “writing nights” with friends! The best part is, all of this can be done remotely from home (or your dorm room), so you don’t have to break any social-distancing guidelines.
- Campus Cupboard
If you’re looking for a project a little closer to home, consider donating to the University of Akron’s own Campus Cupboard. The Campus Cupboard is designed to provide non-perishable food and hygiene products to any student enrolled at UA (this includes undergraduate, graduate, international, residents, and commuters). All items are free for the students, and donations are always welcome! This Valentine’s Day consider helping out your fellow students by checking out the list of items the pantry is currently in need of.
- Akron Children’s Hospital
If you’re feeling crafty, have a safe, socially-distanced card-making party! Get all of your colorful markers and a stack of plain cards, and start creating with friends or family over video chat. When you’re done writing inspirational messages and doodling some cute sketches, donate the cards to Akron Children’s Hospital, or your local Children’s Hospital if you’re not in Akron. Mail the cards to the volunteer office in the hospital and make someone’s day with an uplifting card!
- Haven of Rest
If you’re like me, maybe you’ve made some New Year’s Resolutions to start cleaning out your closet (trust me, I’m the Queen of Clutter). If you have any clean, gently used coats, hats, or gloves that you’re planning on getting rid of, consider giving them to Haven of Rest in Akron. Haven of Rest is a homeless shelter in Akron, and donations will be given to men, women, and children staying there. Take your donations to the drive-thru located at their Client Services Center to spread not only love, but also warmth!
- Your Local Nursing Home
Just in case none of these other options work for you, I have one that I’m sure any college student would jump at the chance to participate in. It’s very simple, doesn’t cost anything, and is sure to bring a smile to someone’s face: Build a snowman. Yes, I said build a snowman! Residents in nursing homes have had a hard time since the pandemic started, and recently people have been finding ways to cheer up our older generation. Call up a local nursing home and ask if you can build snowmen in front of the resident’s windows! More than likely they’ll allow you to come spread some joy, plus, who doesn’t like building snowmen?