District 54 students make valentines for local seniors
Every year for nearly two decades District 54 staff have responded enthusiastically to a request from the Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce and the Village of Hoffman Estates to create valentines for their Random Acts of Kindness program. The valentines are delivered to senior centers, hospitals and rehabilitation facilities in Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg, Streamwood and South Barrington.
“Each year we sort and read the cards, and each year we are all moved to tears by the genuine love and caring our students display in their creations,” said Linda Scheck, who has coordinated the collection and distribution of the cards on behalf of the chamber for more than 10 years. “Each card has allowed an interaction that would never have happened without District 54 students. Faces light up and become animated when we say ‘this card was made for you.’ One year a guest noted the card she had received was actually made by her grandson, and she was moved to tears that her young grandson was involved in making cards to cheer and brighten the day of others.”
Among the groups making valentines this year were the Principal of the Month winners at Dirksen School, kindergarten and first-grade students at Collins, and Enders-Salk students. Staff provided a variety of supplies and some sample messages, and students let their imaginations – and giving spirits – take flight.
“It’s good for the children, because they’re learning to do something for someone else – and they’re so creative and do such a nice job,” said Lillian Clinton, chair of the Commission for Senior Citizens in Hoffman Estates.
At Alden Poplar Creek rehabilitation center, chamber representatives distribute the valentines from District 54 with help from the Hoffman Estates High School wrestling team and cheer squads. At St. Alexius Medical Center the cards are delivered to patients on their lunch and dinner trays, and a decorated basket of cards is on display in the café along with a note encouraging visitors to share the love and take a student-made card. The Hoffman Estates Senior Commission’s annual Valentine’s Day luncheon is also enhanced by the student-made cards.
“I am so very grateful to everyone involved in the creation of these cards each year,” Scheck said. “They’ve allowed us to connect lovingly to our precious senior community and remind them how very much they are cherished.”