Laura Larson and her family are busy right now making Valentine's Day cards for older adults who might be feeling a little lonely these days.
Larson, her husband and their three young children are spreading the love by writing inspirational messages and sketching colorful designs and drawings on cards as part of a nationwide network of volunteers dubbed the “Cupid Crew.” The group of volunteers, organized by Wish of a Lifetime from AARP, strives to make the annual day of love special for older adults in nursing homes, long-term care facilities and similar settings throughout the country.
"A lot of people are very isolated right now, especially with COVID,” says Larson, of Denver. “If we can take the time and reach out and make a connection, there's great power and value in that."
Larson is one of thousands of Cupid Crew volunteers who have worked annually on this Valentine's Day effort. Traditionally volunteers delivered roses to older adults, and often spent some time in conversation. When the pandemic hit, volunteers instead made cards and dropped them off. Last year thousands of Cupid Crew volunteers delivered cards to 218,000 older adults nationwide. Building on last year’s event, Cupid Crew hopes to deliver nearly 250,000 colorful, funny, sweet cards this year.
Volunteer with Cupid Crew
To participate in this Valentine's Day effort go to Wish of a Lifetime, to download a card. Use your creativity to decorate and personalize the card, then drop it off for an older adult of your choice or a senior living facility in your local area.
Volunteers can download cards from Wish of a Lifetime, and personalize them with messages and decorations to be delivered to residential care facilities and distributed to older adults all across the country.
Through Cupid Crew and other initiatives, Wish of a Lifetime works to combat the negative effects of isolation for older adults and strengthen intergenerational connections. Wish of a Lifetime from AARP, which grants wishes to people 65 and older in recognition of their special accomplishments, contributions and sacrifices, is seeking additional volunteers to join Cupid Crew. You can participate by visiting www.wishofalifetime.org/cupid.