Butterflies are free to fly

Touch someone’s heart

January 4, 2013 by  
Filed under News, Slideshow

One of the coolest things we do at The Library every year is connect people in our community – and beyond – through the making and receiving of Valentines.hearts and hands2

We call it Hands that Touch a Heart, and this is the ninth year we’ve been doing it at BCPL. It’s a simple idea: kids, teens, parents – anybody – who visits the library between early January and early February takes a few minutes to make a homemade Valentine. Then, we play Cupid and deliver them. The end result is the smile on the faces of all the local soldiers and area nursing home residents who receive them.

Our 2013 campaign starts this week and runs through Friday, Feb. 8. Card templates and decorating supplies are available anytime at the Main and Kyova branches.

When we started this program, we only delivered to residents of local nursing homes – about 400 or 500 each year. Then, a few years ago, we thought it would be nice to include local servicemen and women who are deployed overseas, or just not home with their loved ones, and who might not receive a card on Valentine’s Day. So with the help of www.anysoldier.com, we found a way to get cards made by local kids into the hands of local soldiers.

Once we added the military recipients, we knew we’d need a lot more Valentines. But, our great patrons, along with local schools, church groups, scouts, and other community organizations, helped fill the need. Last year, we made 2,400 Valentines. That’s a lot of smiles!!

We call it Hands that Touch a Heart for a couple of reasons. First of all, a handmade card is a gift that comes from the heart. As a parent, I am always much happier to get a card or gift hand-crafted by one of my kids than I am to receive a store-bought card. The knowledge that they put the time and effort into my gift makes it extra special.

Seeing the smiles on the faces of the nursing home residents when they get their homemade card is truly priceless. On some past deliveries, I noticed that the person still had the card we’d brought them the year before on display in their room.

We also gave the campaign its name because the card template we use encourages kids to trace their hand and then decorate it.  Sure, sometimes it ends up looking more like a turkey, but with a bit of coloring, glitter, stickers, and a personal message, it is a work of art nonetheless.

Kids love to come into the library and make the cards. Many of them will make one on every visit, so by the time the month-long campaign ends, they might have half a dozen cards ready for delivery. Parents are great to help too, and we welcome it.

This program wouldn’t be near as successful as it is without all the help we get from schools and outside groups. We hope they – and others – will take part again this year. It’s easy to do: just contact Amanda Clark at 606.329.0518, ext. 1140, or aclark@thebookplace.org and tell her how many card templates you need and where to send them. We just need you to drop the finished cards off at Main or Kyova by Feb. 8.

We hope you can help use your hands to touch someone’s heart this year.

Amanda Gilmore

About Amanda Gilmore

Amanda Gilmore is the community relations coordinator for BCPL. She spent 20 years in the newspaper business, and is thrilled to be on the other side - telling our community about all the wonderful library programs and services.

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