In October 2008, I read a book that I got for my 4th birthday, called Love, Ruby Valentine, by Laurie Friedman. It is about a little girl named Ruby Valentine who loved Valentine's Day so much that she would spend days preparing and making Valentine's Day goody bags with treats, and cards with glitter. Then on Valentine's Day, she would load them up in her decorated wagon and pass them out to everyone in her town to make them smile and feel special.
I loved the story and wanted to do it too - because it seemed so nice to make people smile and feel special. At first, my parents weren’t so sure about it because we lived in such a big town. They thought that I could just pass out Valentines on our street – but I had a bigger plan.
They asked me who I thought would really like to get a Valentine from me – that part was easy! I said, "For sure kids because they like candy, and people who are sick because they might need to be cheered up, and also anyone who might not get a visitor or be invited to a party on Valentine's Day." Seemed obvious to me!
Next they told me that it would be too expensive – I counted all the money in my piggy bank, which was $48.76. That’s when they decided to send a letter to friends and family to see if they wanted to help…and the rest is history!
So every year I send out letters for the fundraiser, shop for everything we’ll need for goody bags and cards, stuff the goody bags, make the cards (with glitter!), decorate my wagon, and away we go! It is a lot of work, but over the years I have recruited a lot of people to help out, which really makes it fun.
Plus, on delivery day, I get a LOT of hugs! My favorite part of the project is going back to all the places we visit every year, as well as find new places to go. Everyone seems very happy to get a Valentine!
I try to spend about $5 per goody bag, and the remaining money is used to purchase much needed items for the non-profit locations that I visit. It has been so GREAT!
The project keeps growing every year – check out my “Project Results” page to see what we have done each year. If you have any questions, or would like to donate to the project, please go to my "Contact Me" page! I love getting messages!
Thank you so much!!