Bonus: It's free!
Want to feel great but maybe also cry? Try sending a Valentine to a patient at Cincinnati Children's hospital. The program is a huge success, according to Liz Smith, manager of annual giving, and was a long time in the making: "We were hearing that people wanted to send print Valentines to the kids. But this is a hospital, and this is not the time of year that you want things coming in that people may have sneezed on. We asked ourselves 'How can we redirect this intention?'"
So five years ago, Children's launched a site that allows users to choose digital cards to send, which hospital staff print out and distribute among the patients. Since then, the program has taken off, and already this year Children's has received more than 285,000 Valentines sent in from all 50 states and 6 continents.
The sheer scale of the response is astonishing. "Each one of those cards is a person who had this good thing in their heart," says Smith. And the impact is real: "One year when I was handing them out," remembers Smith, "a mom told me that her child was having a really rough time, and the Valentines changed her whole day."
This year, Cincinnati Children's has partnered with local design firm Kolar to create the cards (all but the llama card, which was produced by Cincinnati Children's staffer Lori McDermott), and they are as cute as you're hoping:
Courtesy Cincinnati Children's
Want in? Just visit the Children's site, choose one of the adorable designs (we ride for llamas), add a few details, and hit Submit. Each card even has a fun activity on the back. It's fast, free, and simple, and it will brighten a sick kid's Valentine's day. What's not to love?