Happy Valentine’s Day!

Heart Hands

This week we celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day. No doubt, there are many among us whose memories of the occasion go back to our childhood celebrations in elementary school. Valentine’s Day wouldn’t have been complete without the little candy hearts with the messages that ultimately were about asking someone to be your valentine.

As we got older, our Valentine’s Day experiences as children often evolved into acts of kindness and giving as we matured. We give flowers and chocolates and other material gifts for a sweetheart, as well as the gifts of time, attention, and effort for someone special. And while the focus of Valentine’s Day is on romance, the gifts we give and receive can be anything we want them to be. The circumstances of our lives may vary, but we can all find great satisfaction in giving. Here are some ideas on how to help others this Valentine’s Day whether you have a special someone in your life or not. You never know, just by putting yourself out there, you just might meet someone new.

1. Volunteer – This can be both a great thing for couples to do as well as individuals. Volunteering with organizations whose mission is to help others can give everyone involved a sense of satisfaction. For couples this can be a bonding experience. For individuals it can be an opportunity to meet new people while helping those in need.

2. Valentine’s Day Gift Donations – So many of us have more than enough. Some people are actively trying to reduce the amount of stuff they have, and while getting gifts is nice, getting them when you are trying to downsize may be counterproductive. Making a donation in recognition of your valentine can be a perfect way to show someone you care about them and love them while helping others.

3. Conscious Shopping – If you buy someone a present for Valentine’s Day consider buying from a company that donates to charitable organizations that you support.

4. Donate Items – There are many organizations that need non-monetary items as well as financial contributions. Whether it is clothing, household items, food, or the kinds of items animal charities can use, giving such items can have a direct impact on the individuals who receive them. And like volunteering, taking your donated items to your worthy cause can be something that can bring people together.

In the end, Valentine’s Day is about the heart. Heartfelt charity for others is always a good thing. It creates the kind of goodwill that brings people together. However you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, from all of us at MUM, we wish you one filled with love and affection. Happy Valentine’s Day!

About Steven J. Caplan

Steven J. Caplan is a freelance writer in the Washington, DC area. stevenjcaplan@gmail.com