It might not be a traditional match, but young professionals are flashing googly eyes at seniors in South Dakota in time for Valentine’s Day — as are softball players, scrapbooking moms and businessmen from a five-state area.
All of them are pitching in to support My Golden Valentine, an annual project designed by Rapid City Christian radio station KSLT-FM to spread a little love to nursing homes and seniors in the community each February.
“It’s just a lot of fun,” Jamie Knapp, the station’s program director told McKnights. Knapp said the program is at least 10 years old and has grown from a 300-card distribution job to one that sees community drop-off sites hit with up to 12,000 cards annually.
Cards are donated in all shapes and sizes and typically filled with cheesy Valentine cliches, Bible verses or simple words of encouragement.
“We’ve known people to leave the cards up on their fridge or on their door all year long,” Knapp said. “People get so creative, and it just makes them so happy.”
About a dozen members of the Rapid City Young Professionals Group met Monday night to bedazzle handmade cards and inscribe messages.
“They helped build Rapid City, and we want to help them, even when they’re in a home,” Kelli Kabrud, vice chairman of the young professionals’ steering committee, told a local NBC affiliate. “Maybe [they] don’t have a lot of family around, and we’re able to help them and make Valentine’s Day cards for them.”
Despite their cheesy messaging and bad puns (think, “You’re my butter half,” accompanying a picture of a butter stick), the professionals hoped the campaign inspired a deeper respect for seniors.
“Appreciate them and say, ‘Hey, you know what? You’re not forgotten’,” member Adam Prudich said. “You are still loved. There are people that think about you, and we just want to give you a little bit of time.'”
The public is invited to design cards for the campaign, which now also delivers cards to recipients of Meals on Wheels, homeless shelters and workshops for people with disabilities. Knapp said any extra cards are mailed to communities operated by Colorado-based Bethesda Senior Living, whose parent company also owns the station.
Cards, with envelopes preferred, are being accepted through Feb. 7 and can be mailed to:
My Golden Valentine
1853 Fountain Plaza Drive
Rapid City, SD 57702