Sure, we all look forward to the fun and silliness of cut-out construction paper hearts, mass-produced Valentines with every childhood character in the history of Cartoon-ville, and those not-so-tasty but fun conversation hearts. (Does anybody actually eatthose, by the way?)
But what if Valentine’s Day meant being thousands of miles away from friends and family and doing a job that put your life on the line? What if that was your child, putting their life on the line for you and your country?
For the Blue Star Moms, mothers of sons and daughters who are part of the military, they live this reality every day. They keep pictures and mementos of their brave sons and daughters but long to hug them just the same as we hug our babies—no matter how grown they are.
A group of local moms from Danville, San Ramon and Walnut Creek, armed with scissors, red construction paper and a few bags of drug store supplies and groceries are putting together Valentines care packages for donation to the Danville chapter of Blue Star Moms. “We have a list of over 400 soldiers that we send packages to,” says Chris, a Blue Star Mom from the local chapter, “and they appreciate everything they get.” Including the scribbles of my four-year old, which I thought only a mother could love. But don’t we all have a few thousand scribbles from our kids? Couldn’t we convince them to share them with soldiers who are far from their families?
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Even crossword puzzles and new socks (just a couple of the items on the donations list) can mean a lot when you’re far from family and friends. Putting together Valentines for soldiers is a great way of getting kids to think about the world outside their own homes and schools and to consider what it means to put a little love in your heart for those you don’t know, as well as those you do.
If you and your family are interested in contributing to the local Danville chapter, you can do so by contacting moi (Allison Randall) at firstname.lastname@example.org. All Valentine’s Day contributions need to be collected by this Friday, February 3rd (at 3pm, I’m off to make the delivery) or you can start gathering items over the next few months to send with a shipment to be collected in mid-June for the 4th of July.
If you live outside of the Bay Area, you can visit the national Blue Star Moms websiteto find a local chapter.