School-age memories are often etched into our psyche. For me, these memories are either clear and colorful or vague and foggy. One of the clear, colorful memories from elementary school came on February 14. Eleven years old, I was excited about the upcoming Father-Daughter Valentine’s Day Banquet.
That particular day was noteworthy to others, but I was too young to care. On that very day, James Schneider, one of the Keystone Kops died, Raquel Welch married for the second time, and Aretha Franklin recorded the iconic song Respect.
All I cared about was reading the cards stuffed in my artfully made valentine box sitting on the windowsill in my fifth-grade classroom, and most importantly, the banquet. It was probably my first reckoning with the complicated matters of the heart. I went off to school expecting a great day, and then it hit me.
By midmorning, I was ill with fever and, to my great disappointment, sent home. As soon as I was in the car with my mother, I asked if dad and I would still be going to the banquet. Near tears, clutching my box of unread valentine cards, I heard the answer I already expected – “I’m sorry, honey, not this year.”
I crawled into bed with the carefully decorated box close, still unopened. She went to work and got creative.
My mother woke me from a long afternoon nap. Satisfied that the fever was down, she escorted me to our dining room where a Valentine-themed dinner table was set for two, and my dad was waiting for me. I could not have imagined such a wonderful moment. I don’t remember any details about the dinner itself, but all the moments leading up to it are crystal clear.
Now it’s your turn. Lovers of Valentine’s Day, do something unexpected for your favorite nonprofit.
How to Say I Love You to a Nonprofit
- If you volunteer, take an extra shift or stay longer than expected
- If you’re a monthly donor, give a little more this month
- If you’re a year-end giver, give this month and again at the end of the year
- Buy a box of kid Valentine cards and send a Valentine thank you to the Executive Director, the program director, or maybe all the staff
- Give your fellow volunteers a Valentine thank you
- Be bold and creative, but do it your way
As donors, we have the power to do the unexpected. Find creative ways to give.
Donations – large or small, thank yous and unexpected kindnesses will make Valentine’s Day fun, joyful, meaningful and memorable. Don’t be bashful. Buy a box of kid Valentine cards and get started.
How do you say I love you to your favorite nonprofit?
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