Students send Valentines to local veterans

Publish Date: 02/16/2015
Local veterans at the VA Northern Indiana Health Care Facility in Marion received an early Valentine’s Day surprise this week, as 300 homemade valentines were distributed as part of Bright House Networks’ and Marion Community School’s third annual Valentines for Veterans program.

Kendall Elementary students show off their Valentines.
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Bright House Networks donated the art supplies to the students who participated in the project, which was designed to educate students about veterans and the importance of recognizing them throughout the year.

“Many students have a grandparent or other family member that has served or is currently serving our country, so this was really a special project that my students could relate to,” said Karen Fry, art teacher at Frances Slocum and Kendall elementary schools. “As a class, we discussed how much veterans did to protect our freedoms and why they might feel sad or lonely around this time of year.” 

Fry allowed her students to write their own messages of love and support for the veterans.

“I was so touched by the heartfelt messages that some of the students wrote in their cards,” she said. “They not only thanked them for their service, but many of my students were concerned about the veterans being in the hospital; many wrote ‘I hope you feel better.’” 

The project is meaningful for veterans, too.

“Recognizing our veterans is an expression of honor and appreciation, said Tamara Thompson, Voluntary Service Specialist at Northern VA Hospital. “Valentines from our community schools give an extra special touch in saying ‘thank you’ who gave so much.”

Bright House Networks hopes the annual project illustrates the importance of volunteering time and talents.

“We were thrilled that Marion Community Schools wanted to participate again for the third year, and hopefully many more years to come,” said Courtney Taylor, community relations representative of Bright House Networks. “They do a wonderful job teaching students about our veterans and expressing that appreciation through artwork. Sometimes, it’s the small gestures that really make a difference in letting someone know just how appreciated our veterans are.”

Bright House Networks, VA employees, and City Council President Joselyn Whitticker deliver Valentines made by MCS students to veterans at the Marion VA Medical Center.

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