Valentine’s Day is usually a holiday that you love or hate. Remember kindergarten when everyone in class received Valentine’s Day cards and gifts? I received Valentine’s Day gifts from my mother into young adulthood. I have done the same for my daughter (her Valentine’s Day packaged arrived at her dorm last week). For me Valentine’s Day is a day to say I love you in a special way. For many unhappily single people it is an unwelcomed reminder from a society that portrays one as incomplete if they aren’t involved in a romantic relationship that they are alone.
My purpose in writing this blog is to encourage the community to provide support and encouragement to foster youth throughout the year. My gift giving philosophy is “it’s the thought that counts” so spending a lot of money has never been the focus of my giving. My closest colleagues and I who facilitate groups during February always provide special goodie bags for Valentine’s Day. These goodie bags are sometimes the only expressions that say “you are valued” that our youth receive. Workers, if you don’t do so already, would you consider providing Valentine’s Day cards or candy or small gifts to youth who are a part of the foster care system? Many people have never been encouraged to celebrate Valentine’s Day in this way and would contribute if asked. I feel that a Valentine’s Day party or event can provide the opportunity to show the face and heart of youth who don’t have a forever family. I am advocating for Cupid to spread the love of a foster youth on Valentine’s Day. Many couples get engaged or married on Valentine’s Day. It would be awesome to start the tradition of children’s adoption from foster care to be finalized on Valentine’s Day as well. Let’s continue to think outside the box all year long!
Please share your thoughts.
Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer
The Teen Toolbox provides youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic enrichment opportunities to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs.