Caring Teenager Sends 16,000 Valentine’s Day Cards to Lonely Strangers and Neighbors

What began as a small challenge helmed by a younger man and involving a couple of mates has grown into a company that touches the lives of hundreds of individuals and is making information across the nation. And because it occurs, it began within the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.

It was at a Washington D.C. charitable group that Patrick Kaufman first acquired an concept in his head. Working at Food & Friends, a “community-based group within the D.C. area offering home-delivered medically tailor-made meals and medical vitamin remedy to [its] neighbors dwelling with most cancers, HIV/AIDS, and different severe diseases,” Kaufman determined to incorporate Valentine’s Day playing cards in among the meals being prepped for house supply.

The younger man enlisted the assistance of some mates to hand-write and illustrate about 30 playing cards that 12 months. That would have been the top of the story, a pleasant little gesture that brightened the day for a couple of individuals dwelling with some severe challenges. As an alternative, it was the beginning of the story, not the top in any respect.

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The following 12 months, impressed to the touch extra individuals, Patrick requested for assist from schoolmates and, with many college students lending a hand (and markers, glue, scissors, and a few coronary heart and humor), Patrick oversaw the creation and despatched out about 300 playing cards. And it might solely develop from there.

The “Valentines by Children” Initiative is Born

Valentine’s by Kids

By 2022, it was clear that Patrick’s challenge was not going to be a flash within the pan, however was the truth is going to develop and develop. However to be clear, it grew as a result of this devoted and resourceful teenager put within the effort to make it so. Patrick requested his father assist him to broaden the community of children who may create playing cards, and so the Kaufmans reached out to varsities far and huge explaining what they had been doing and the way the scholars on the colleges may assist.

And with a web site arrange and a nonprofit established, the group now formally referred to as Valentines by Children was launched and rising steadily. Hardly a challenge that’s solely related round February 14th, these Valentine’s Day playing cards are actually one thing Patrick, his household, and a few helpers are targeted on mainly all 12 months spherical.

How You Can Assist With the Valentine’s Day Initiative

Valentines by Children makes it very simple for individuals to be a part of the program. All somebody has to do is attain out to them from a college and ship a bit of knowledge. The group must know what number of Valentine’s Day playing cards the college can create and it wants the mailing tackle of the college and… that’s it. The group will then ship a field with that many empty envelopes, the children on the college create the playing cards and stuff them into these envelopes, after which the college can mail the card-laden field again, all for free of charge — Valentines by Children sends a pay as you go label for the delivery. And so they deal with all logistics of distribution to the hospitals, hospice facilities, and houses of people who find themselves in want of a little bit of cheer.

The advantages of collaborating in this system are many. Per Valentines by Children: “The scholars are comfortable as a result of they shared some love. The academics are comfortable as a result of they taught a worthwhile lesson.  The college is comfortable that it was in a position to contribute to the group.  The individuals who get the playing cards are VERY comfortable. Everyone seems to be comfortable!”

Everyone seems to be comfortable — how typically can we actually say that at the present time? When you have a toddler in class, you’re employed for a college, otherwise you simply have any significant connection to an academic establishment, you’ll be able to assist unfold a few of that happiness by signing on with Valentines by Children.

The way forward for Patrick Kaufman’s Valentine’s by Children group seems to be brilliant

Valentine’s by Children

Let’s do some math right here: in 2020, we all know Patrick Kaufman and some mates despatched out about 30 Valentine’s Day playing cards to strangers who they figured could not in any other case get any playing cards on February 14th. In 2021, Patrick’s efforts helped about 300 playing cards exit, a ten-fold improve. Then in 2022, we noticed one other ten-time improve within the variety of playing cards that went out, with some 3,000 being created and despatched.

And simply now, in 2023, Patrick, together with scores of different youngsters (and a few grownup assist) has been instrumental in some 16,000 Valentine’s Day playing cards being despatched to individuals who could in any other case have been with out significant contact on this love-centric day. Now, 16,000 might not be a ten-fold improve year-over-year as we’d been seeing, however once we’re speaking about 16,000 lives touched, we’ll take the 5.3 occasions development within the final 12 months and name {that a} win.

As for who will get the playing cards, Patrick’s website states: “I volunteer for DC-based Food & Friends which delivers meals [and cards] to significantly unwell adults and kids dwelling within the DC/MD/VA space, together with their households and caregivers… I additionally ship playing cards to DC/MD/VA space hospitals and nursing houses, so I’m making an attempt to gather as many playing cards as doable.”

An Inspiration to us all

Valentine’s by Children

We’ve already famous the age of the younger man on the heart of this story, but it surely’s price repeating it: Patrick Kaufman is, on the time of this writing 14 years previous. That’s an age at which most of us are extra involved with video video games, motion pictures, gossip, sports activities, and different issues that, frankly talking, could also be fulfilling however are of little lasting which means.

Patrick, however, is now three years right into a challenge that touches the lives of hundreds of individuals in a significant means. To place a finer level on that, that’s to say, he was already a compassionate and empathetic thinker at age 11. And for the document, the work he and his fellow Valentines by Children volunteers do is genuinely significant: a couple of sort phrases or a second the place real care is displayed can have a demonstrable useful impact on the recipient. And that’s true in line with science, per Constructive Information. Neuroscientists have studied the results of sort phrases and acts on the human mind and there’s no doubt of a lift in an individual’s sense of well-being after a second of kindness is skilled.

For individuals who could also be sick or lonely — or, far too typically, each — these Valentine’s Day playing cards often is the solely occasion of kindness skilled in an extended whereas, thus the impact of the playing cards shall be even stronger. Right here’s the factor: you don’t want to the touch the lives of 16,000 individuals to unfold a little bit of kindness your self; you’ll be able to take a little bit of inspiration from Valentines by Children and Patrick Kaufman and say one thing good to a few individuals every day. You by no means know whose day it might completely change and brighten for the higher.

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