How to send Valentines to kids in hospitals, nursing home residents and more

Valentine’s Day is a day when we think of others. It’s also the perfect day to spread love to people who are facing their own set of challenges.

Throughout the country, pediatric hospitals, nursing homes, shelters and even employers of frontline workers are currently accepting Valentine’s Day cards and other holiday goodies. Here are a few organizations and gift ideas that you might want to consider extending kindness to.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Valentine’s Day celebrants can send virtual cards to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for free on the pediatric hospital’s website. Virtual card creators get to pick from an assortment of colorful designs that feature artwork inspired by real St. Jude patients. 

St. Jude recommends writing "encouraging notes" to its patents. Cards can also be sent all year round and not just on Valentine’s Day. Other ways people can support the hospital over the holiday include sending in monetary donations, hosting fundraising events and spreading awareness on social media, according to St. Jude’s website.

HIS Radio’s Hearts for Kids Initiative

Non-commercial radio station WLFJ-FM (His Radio) is accepting handmade Valentine’s Day cards that’ll be distributed to children’s hospitals throughout North Carolina. 

The station will be delivering cards that pass its screening to children’s wards at the following seven hospitals: North Carolina Children’s Hospital, Chapel Hill; Wake Med, Raleigh; Duke Children's, Durham; Vidant/Maynard Children’s Hospital, Greenville; Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, Fayetteville; Betsy Johnson Hospital, Dunn; and Nash General, Rocky Mount.

Valentine’s Day cards can be mailed or dropped off in person at the address below.

HIS Radio--Hearts For Kids

7610 Falls of Neuse Rd, Suite 155

Raleigh, NC  27615

The local radio station recommends card submitters refrain from using glitter and googly eyes, making references to illness or religion and providing candy or toys. Instead, His Radio suggests making uplifting and gender-neutral holiday cards that feature standard Valentine’s Day greetings. Cards written in Spanish are also encouraged.

Wish of a Lifetime From AARP’s Cupid Crew

Spreading Valentine’s Day cheer to seniors is an easy task with AARP’s Wish of a Lifetime. The organization has a national volunteer-driven Cupid Crew campaign that collects Valentine’s Day cards and delivers these heartfelt notes to seniors who are socially isolated.

Pre-made Cupid Crew Valentine’s Day cards can be downloaded from the Wish of a Lifetime website. Once printed, holiday celebrants can personalize and drop off or mail the cards to local senior communities or someone they know personally.

Love In Action Project

The Love in Action Project has already kicked off its annual Valentine’s Day card drive, which aims to create and deliver 5,000 cards to nursing home residents in North Carolina. The organization matches volunteers with nursing homes, so cards can be sent directly to these facilities.

According to the Love in Action Project, sending Valentine Day cards to seniors in nursing homes fosters human connection, curbs loneliness and aids physical and mental health. Volunteers who are interested in participating in this year’s card drive, email

Open Door Mission

Open Door Mission, a Nebraska-based shelter that offers temporary housing and food to people in need, is accepting handmade Valentine’s Day cards and decorations that’ll be distributed around the holiday. Both crafts should be dropped off at the organization’s administration building at the address below.

Open Door Mission

2828 N 23rd St East

Omaha, Nebraska 68110

The submission deadline for Valentine’s Day cards and decorations is Feb. 11. The cards can include holiday candies and will be distributed to Open Door Mission residents. Valentine’s Day decorations will be displayed at the Open Door Mission’s Hearts of Hope Banquet.

Send cards or meals to frontline workers

Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, citizens showed their appreciation and support to frontline workers with thank you cards and meals. Those considerate offerings can be brought back on Valentine’s Day for local hospitals, police departments, firehouses and other essential workers. 

Valentine card

FILE - Rack of Valentine cards in a greeting card shop.

Whether it’s a simple Valentine’s Day card, a homemade baked good or a store-bought breakfast, lunch or dinner, there are different ways you can spread holiday cheer. Just make sure to check with the organization you’d like to extend Valentine’s Day appreciation to in case there are specific gifting rules.

If you’d like to send a Valentine to a veteran or an active-duty service member, read our guide here.

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