Volunteers help make day special for seniors, children
BY REBECCA HOEFFNER
Hundreds of children and seniors in East Texas hospitals and nursing homes received valentines from secret admirers Thursday.
"It's very nice, she's enjoying it," said Marty Nance, mother of 17-year-old Lexis, who was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday. "It's a nice distraction."
This is the sixth year for the staff at Christian radio stations KVNE and KGLY to deliver valentines created by their listeners.
"They're made by mostly children," said Jill Smith, director of community connections at KVNE. "The quality of the valentines this year has been unbelievable. People are taking a lot of time with them. There was one that had a mirror on it and said, 'Take a look at your beautiful self' ... This is our favorite thing of the year."
This year, more than 21,000 valentines were sent in to the radio stations -- the more than 1,000 recipients got a bag of 20 valentines each.
About 25 volunteers spent hours sorting and delivering the valentines as well, Mrs. Smith said, noting it's more than the stations have ever had.
Most of the valentines came from schools and Sunday school classes. East Marshall Elementary involved the entire school in the project.
This year, the staff at the radio stations decided to visit nursing homes for the first time.
The staff also offered to pray with patients who seemed particularly pleased by the visit.
"Oh my," said Lucille Lipscomb, 94, with a big smile when radio staff began to show her the valentines in her bag. "That's so sweet. I think I'm going to cry."
Her daughter, Alice, wiped away tears as she watched.
"She loves the attention," she said with a smile. "You can see she just lights up."