A small sample of the Valentines’ Day cards all ready to go to local seniors as part of Operation Cupid Heart to Heart. | Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews.com
IDAHO FALLS — With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, some locals hope to bring a little joy to eastern Idaho’s seniors.
COVID-19 has made it difficult for seniors to connect with the world during the last year. Operation Cupid Heart to Heart seeks to change that by handing out thousands of valentines to the community’s elderly population. Operation Cupid Heart to Heart is a collaboration between Senior Solutions, an Idaho Falls business, and Just Serve, an organization that strives to connect volunteers both young and old with service opportunities in the community.
“It’s been really neat to connect the generations,” Senior Solutions CEO Chanse Powell said. “Realizing how many people do care about seniors, but sometimes they just don’t know how to help and that is why Just Serve is so helpful.”
They can’t complete the project alone though. Operation Cupid is asking community members to make the valentines or use a template created by the organization. Senior Solutions and Just Serve will then deliver them to area Seniors.
“We really hope this will bring a smile to their face, give them some hope that people are thinking of them,” Powell said. “It’s just a really neat collaboration where it’s a time of love and thinking of people you care about … this is how we show it.”
Just Serve area coordinator Susan Stucki explained they have pledged to get every single valentine made to a recipient. Also, with the tens of thousands of seniors in eastern Idaho, Just Serve has approached faith groups, schools and other organizations to help create the cards.
Senior Solutions CEO Chanse Powell and Just Serve Area Cordinator Susan Stucki have worked to organize Operation Cupid Heart to Heart. | Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews.com
“We are also begging people to take pictures and share their feelings, even just a couple of sentences, of how it feels to reach beyond themselves to someone else who might be lonely,” Stucki said.
After Stucki reached out to Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper about Operation Cupid, a city proclamation was issued. Casper is naming Feb. 14, 2021, as “We Love Seniors Day”. The proclamation recognizes the project and encourages Idaho Falls residents to show seniors “the crown jewels” of the community they care about them.
“Making a valentine for the ‘Operation Cupid’ campaign may seem a small thing, but to the thousands of senior citizens in our midst who are lonely and isolated because of our world circumstances, this little gesture can make such a positive difference,” Casper said in a statement to EastIdahoNews.com. “Taking a moment or two out of a busy day to pen a note to someone who is alone is great for the person who is writing the note too. It takes us outside of ourselves. We applaud those who are spearheading this and hope others will participate. It’s always a good thing to bring a little cheer to others.”
READ THE PROCLAMATION MADE BY MAYOR REBECCA CASPER HERE
To help with the project, Teton Radiology and anonymous donors contributed money to the purchase of hundreds of roses. The flowers will be given out in addition to the valentines. However, Powell said despite all of this; they always need more.
“It’s really just a neat thing where we can really connect with each other and really help the jewels of our community, the seniors,” Powell said. “They paved the way for all of us and I think we need to remember that.”
For those interested in participating they can visit the Senior Solutions Facebook page or JustServe.org to find out more. Additional questions can be directed to Powell at (208) 821-0955.
Valentines need to be received by Senior Solutions by Feb. 10 for delivery. You can mail the valentines to Senior Solutions 2296 North Yellowstone Highway, Suite 303, Idaho Falls, Idaho, 83401, or if you have many Powell will arrange to pick them up.
Just Serve area coordinator Susan Stucki holds the proclamation from Mayor Rebecca Casper declaring Feb. 14, 2021, as We love Seniors Day. | Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews.com