Roses are red, violets are blue- it’s almost Valentine’s Day and we’ve got ideas for you!

Valentine’s Day typically consists of flowers, chocolates, gifts, and romantic dates. But this past year was different - and we’re all still recovering from it. What if we made this Valentine’s Day different as well? Don’t worry, nothing will be canceled or postponed in a typical 2020 fashion- you can still celebrate with your loved one. But what if this year, you and your loved one found a way to help someone else feel loved?

Here are nine ways to help share the love this Valentine’s Day!

  1. In lieu of a present, make a donation in your loved one’s honor to their favorite charity or discuss together who you know that might be in need and anonymously give them a gift card to use for groceries.
  2. If you buy flowers for your loved one, consider buying two and giving the second one to a local retirement home. If you receive flowers on Valentine’s Day morning, maybe keep them around for a few hours and then drop them off to a struggling friend in the afternoon.
  3. A Valentine’s Day date doesn’t have to be a fancy dinner - consider switching roles and becoming the server for a night by feeding the homeless. If the shelter is not permitting serving meals due to restrictions, donate canned goods to a local food bank or make meal kits, complete with water and snacks, to keep in your car for any time you see a homeless person.
  4. Send staple sweets like doughnuts and chocolate to the local hospital, fire station, or police station - it’s the perfect way to help them get through those long shifts while also showing your appreciation.
  5. If you opt to celebrate over dinner, choose to support your local restaurants. The restaurant industry has struggled throughout the various shutdowns over the past year and many are still fighting to stay afloat. In addition to buying your meal, purchase a gift certificate to help the restaurant earn more immediate cash flow.
  6. It’s been a homebound year for most and maybe you’re itching to travel - the airline and hospitality industries have also been hit hard this year and could use your support. Plan a Valentine’s Day weekend getaway (and remember, it doesn’t have to be in February!).
  7. Get your kids involved! Make Valentine’s Day cards for nursing home residents or write kind words on heart-shaped pieces of paper and tape them on a lonely neighbor’s front door.
  8. Grab your sweetheart and head down to a blood donation center. Donation centers are specifically asking for Covid-19 survivors to donate blood and plasma to help others fighting Covid-19.
  9. Write a love letter to your spouse and letters of love and appreciation to others in your life. Tell your kids how special they are to you, tell your parents how much you respect them, and tell your grandparents how much you have learned from them. Write a letter of appreciation to your mailman, the office janitor, or the hospital staff who have been working tirelessly this year. Words left unspoken will never be known - take this opportunity to share your appreciation for all of the wonderful people in your life.

Giving doesn’t have to be time-consuming or costly - anything you are able to give will help make a difference in someone’s life. After a distant year, let’s make an effort to make this the most love-filled Valentine’s Day!