Valentine’s Day 2021 may seem like a long way off, more so than ever because we are still living in Covid-19 days, weeks and months.
But getting us through these difficult times are the helpers, the caregivers and the thoughtful friends, neighbors and even strangers who continue to lift our spirits in ways big and small. Amongst them are the Margida family, of Alliance.
Now in its 11th year, The Valentine Project was founded by siblings Gregory and Michaela Margida after they spent a summer as teens volunteering at Camp Quality, a camp for children with cancer and their siblings. They wanted to help bring some cheer to children who are often isolated from friends, school and normal childhood activities.
They began recruiting people, through Facebook, to buy gifts for children they knew could use some cheering up. Right from the start siblings of the recipients were included, with each child in the home receiving gifts from their very own Valentine. Over the ensuing years, thousands of children have received gift packages.
“I liked the idea of doing something fun and unexpected for kids on Valentine’s Day,” said Gregory. “Our deliveries are a good surprise for kids who have had a lot of bad surprises in their lives.”
Gregory and Michaela, now young adults, are still very involved alongside their mom, Andrea, who runs the day-to-day as president and board member of the 501( c) 3 charitable organization.
“These are uncertain times but The Valentine Project is still here for the families we serve,” said Andrea. “Knowing how challenging COVID-19 has been for families of children with cancer or a chronic illness, we are committed to sending some love their way for Valentine’s Day. The packages will be a bit different this year to ensure safety for all, but packed with loads of love as always.”
Registration is now open. If you are a parent of a child with cancer or a chronic illness, sign up here: https://thevalentineproject.org/register-a-child/
The packages are free of charge to families but there are only limited spots so register early. You can also sign up to be a Valentine.