|My Golden Valentine|
Drop off Points
Rapid City- KSLT Studio 1853 Fountain Plaza Drive and Yoyo Berri (strip mall by NEW Walmart) BH Pediatrics 2905 5th Street
Pierre- Scrappin' Ladies 346 S. Pierre Street
Sturgis- Lynn's Dakotamart 1111 Lazelle Street
Gillette- Calvary Community Church 631 N. Commercial
Dickinson- Faith Expressions 28 1st St West
Chadron- Chadron's Pump & Pantry 276 Mears Street
Wall- Motel 6 211 10th Ave.
Lead- First Interstate Drive Thru Bank Next to Lynn's
Deadwood- First Interstate Drive Thru Bank Corner of Cliff and Sherman
We will be handing out Valentines again this year to Assisted Living Homes, Long Term Care Homes,
Meals on Wheels, the Black Hills Workshop, and more with your help!
Last year we received over 8,000 valentines!
Can you imagine sorting and counting that many valentines? If you would like to help in some way,
please let us know by calling Jamie Knapp 605.342.6822
Valentines are due at a drop off point this week- Feb 8th!
Stories from those inspired by this project:
Yesterday after work my 16 year old daughter and I went to deliver Valentines to the
local 'Golden' residents. As we started on our adventure my daughter said, "I hope this
doesn't take long, I am starving." I told her that it shouldn't be long and that she would
enjoy herself - helping me was her Valentines gift to me.
Our first stop was Mary House. The nurses we talked to said that we could leave them and
they would hand out the cards sometime this week. I said, "But today is Valentines Day, can
we pass them out?" The nurses said, "Go ahead."
The first 5 rooms we went to, my daughter stood in the doorway with a look of, 'hurry up I am hungry'. (You know you can't just drop a card off and walk out)
After the first 5 cards were dropped off, Morgan got into the swing of things. She went into the rooms with me. Visited with the residents and helped hand out the cards. We went to Parkwood for our second stop. They were just finishing up their Valentines dinner.
We went from table to table handing out cards. Morgan gave a card to an elderly woman sitting at a table with 3 friends. All four women were widows. One of the gals opened her card and said, "My Valentine has been gone 29 years...I still miss him" Morgan teared up, but proceeded to hand out the rest of the cards before she turned away crying. We went to The Golden Living Center, where I handed out cards to a table with '3 handsome men' - all three smiled and appreciated the comment as I gave them their cards. When we arrived at The Golden Living Center, Morgan took a handful of cards and said that she would meet me back in the lobby. She was grinning ear to ear when she returned. Her comment was, "Where to next?" Our next stop was Kellys Retirement - they were just finishing their meal. The residents there were so excited to get surprise Valentines. We had signed the cards - Your Secret Valentine or Your Secret Admirer. One of the ladies opened her card and asked if the secret admirer was male of female. I said that I thought it was male. The elderly lady asked what he looked like. I said, " Six foot two, dark, muscular" then proceeded to keep handing out cards. The same gal piped up, "What color of hair?" I said, "Dark". She grinned. As we were walking by to leave, the elderly woman said, "I am going to have a good night" I told her not to let her secret admirer keep her up all night." She said, "I won't" at that one of the Kelly employees commented, "When I go to your room tonight and you aren't there, I will check the window and follow the walker prints" The elderly woman just smiled. We also had an older gentleman ask if his secret valentine was blonde. I told him she was if he wanted her to be....he said "Yes."
We delivered Valentines for 3 hours. When we were done delivering at our designated spots we had a few cards left, so Morgan suggest we take them up to the hospital. We did. We went to the nurses station, asked how many patients were in the hospital and counted out the cards.
One of the nurses hopped up from where she had been sitting and said, "Can I deliver these" We told her that would be great and she took off down the hallway with a smile.
Through out our adventures last night people would ask who we were. We often commented that we were with a group that wanted to make sure that they knew that someone was thinking about them this Valentines Day. We told them that we were with the 'My Golden Valentine' project that KSLT had. Some knew of you - all were excited to hear that a christian radio station was planning on coming to town. Kelly's Retirement asked if we would get the dial number to them so that they could tune into your radio station when you open up in Pierre.
My daughter and I had a wonderful time. This project reminded me how much I enjoy visiting with the elderly. I used to volunteer with the elderly on a regular basis, then kids and life happened.
The most memorable event of the evening though was when we were on our way home and my daughter said, "So, what are we going to make next? I will help you deliver!"
Something very special happened at lunch...all due to the Golden Valentine project.
I received a phone call at home from a Mrs. Cummings at the high school. She said that she would like to visit with me about last nights Valentines delivery (at this point my heart was beating pretty fast). I wasn't sure what to expect.
Mrs. Cummings said that her mom called her last night, shortly after receiving a valentine. Her mom was very excited about the unexpected 'gift'. She told her, Mrs. Cummings, that a girl named Morgan gave her a valentine and she thought that she had made Morgan cry....but she hadn't meant to.
Mrs. Cummings' mom is the lady that told Morgan that her husband had died 29 years ago and that she still missed him.
Now, the amazing thing was, Mrs. Cummings said that as soon as her mom said a girl named Morgan, she knew that it had to be Morgan Meier (my daughter) - this was a very proud mom moment when I was told that they knew who was volunteering time, just by saying a first name.
Back to the story. Mrs. Cummings told me that the Valentine meant so much to her mother, that her mom called all of her kids (I think she said there were 5 and they live in different spots in the US) to tell them about her special Valentine and about a teenage girl taking the time to personally give her a valentine. Mrs. Cummings told me that she wanted to let me know that the simple gesture of a valentine made her mom's day and her mother appreciated the personal delivery.
I thanked Mrs. Cummings for the phone call and told her that we were happy to volunteer. I let her know that her mom's statement to Morgan, not only helped Morgan realize how wonderful the gift of love is, but it was a reminder of how blessed we are to love.
This project has turned out to be not only a way to show the elderly that they are not forgotten, but a 'silent hug' from God letting each of them know that they are loved and not alone.
Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is an annual commemoration held every February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs, Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. Modern Valentine's Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid.
Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards....for the most part. But in the midwest, there is this Radio station in a city called Rapid City known as the “Star of the West” in South Dakota that takes Valentine giving to a whole new level.
Valentine's Day -for lovers...sure! The way the modern world has commercialized Valentine's Day, really makes no appeal to the single, the ditched, or the widowed. It's a day these particular people would rather shut their blinds, close their curtains to the red and pink painted world for this one day. It's a day the heart-broken in the world laugh at pictures and stickers of whole hearts thinking how unrealistic they are in life. They don't really exist...a shattered heart is more like it...thousands of pieces lying on the ground.
But even if the appointed day seems pointless, silly and annoying...you deal because it is there, and you are not afraid to tell people how the holiday to you is like nails on a chalkboard… understandable.
So the thought is.... What if we, for this day took something like Valentine's Day and did something amazing with it, using it as an excuse to love on people...turning it around ...not to expect for ourselves, but to bless others? It's definitely a different way of thinking. When we hurt, we wonder how we could have the strength. The answer is simple...we don't. God is the only one that can give us that strength.
I am honored to be a part of a 3 year ministry outreach, called My Golden Valentine project. The idea was birthed from our sister station, WPFF in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. We took on the idea and through the hands and hearts of our listeners, area businesses and schools, and have turned this holiday around to not be about us. It’s about those who have raised families, taught us values, made an impact and possibly are now alone....the elderly folks of our community.
These are people who are retired and find themselves often times with time, thinking and reflection on their lives and frequently find themselves depressed. For these people home sweet home is certainly a memory not forgotten, but they also need to know they matter, that they still have purpose. Obviously each of us who breathe still has purpose. These folks are someone's children...but most of all God sees them as His children. They do belong. We just want to remind them of this truth. God blindsided us this year with the overflow of blessing...over 10,000 Valentines were brought into our station. So many put their true hearts into each heart handed out. I am overjoyed.
Because of the huge response, we were able to bless folks of the Black Hills Workshop too. The blessing was the same but different...it was extraordinary. These people were so thankful, so gracious, so in need of one's caring thoughts. I heard "I love you" many times and "your the best". They love to be hugged and to be held. They too matter.
I left the workshop in our station vehicle quiet, reflecting...wondering how come I am so blessed? God blessed me in return. They made more of an impact on me than I did on them by just being there. I could re live that moment over and over.
Did you know you can volunteer at the workshop? One particular man in a chair didn't want to let go of my hand...one didn’t want me to talk to anyone else but him...two ladies skipped happily down the hall after they got a Valentine...it made them feel beautiful and loved. One man shouted, "I cant wait to show this to my mommy", one man didn’t know how to accept something freely given to him, he was apprehensive, wondering "why is this for me?"
I could tell hundreds of stories all from this one day. We have a mission field right here. This year, when the holiday rolls around, I encourage you to think of what you can do to brighten someones else's day. You will so be blessed back and you will find that the joy you receive back takes place of some of your own hurt… You won’t find yourself again saying "Valentines Shmalentines".
P.S. Oh...and those shattered heart pieces I was talking about in your own life...Your maker wants to put them back together...He can and will if you let Him.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.
I am the LORD.