Community Support Spreads Far and Wide for Valentine’s Day
The love for North Shore Healthcare residents stretches far and wide, especially when it comes to showing support for them on the holidays.
North Shore centers across Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota, and Michigan often receive treats for their residents on holidays or other special occasions. Businesses, schools, churches, and civic groups bring handmade cards, homemade baked goods, games, flowers, and other thoughtful gestures to residents to let them know they are not alone. This year for Valentine’s Day, the community response was overwhelming!
Stevens Point Health Services in Stevens Point, Wisconsin created the Valentine’s Day Challenge, setting a goal of receiving 100 Valentine cards from the community. They did not get exactly what they asked for – they got more! Life Enrichment Specialist Becky Rossman said the center received more than 800 cards from all over Wisconsin and other states, including Washington, California, Oregon, Ohio, North Carolina, and West Virginia.
Word spread quickly about the Valentine’s Day Challenge. WSAW NewsChannel 7 shared the story on their website and social media page, which helped push the word out even further. The center also connected with Pacelli High School in Stevens Point students and even started a Pen Pal Club.
“Many of our residents weren’t aware of how fast things travel through social media,” Rossman said. “Residents could not believe how people from other states heard about our Valentine’s Day Challenge. Thank you to everyone who shared our messages and sent Valentine’s cards to our residents.”
The community rallied around Lancaster Health Services after the center shared pictures of residents holding up “Will you be my Valentine?” signs on their Facebook page. Erin Walz, Life Enrichment Coordinator, said the center expected to get a few cards, but to their surprise, they received more than an estimated 500 cards from Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan. As the cards poured in, staff posted them on residents’ rooms doors.
“The residents enjoyed seeing the different pictures on the cards and were surprised to see they were all different,” Walz said. “We had some really amazing schools and day cares send in packets of handmade cards their students made. The residents loved seeing those from the kids.”
The center, based in Lancaster, Wisconsin, received more than Valentine cards though. “We received heart-shaped cookies from a nice man, who came in from the Dubuque area to deliver them himself,” Walz said. “Chocolate pudding cups were delivered by a young boy and his mom.”
North Shore would like to thank everyone who contributed to making Valentine’s Day memorable for the residents. Many of the residents do not have holidays or special days to share with loved ones so every card, gift, and heartwarming gesture makes a difference.