A group of students from Epworth Christian School in Laurel joined U.S. Rep. John Carney (D-Del.) on Friday at the Delaware Veterans Home to meet veterans and distribute hundreds of cards during the third annual Valentines for Vets program.

Valentine’s Day was never a favorite holiday for World War II Army veteran Don Addor. But when a group of students, joined by U.S. Rep. John Carney (D-Del.), visited the Delaware Veterans Home on Friday to distribute cards made by local students, Addor said he was able to appreciate the holiday a little more.

“When you see a group like this come in and do something like this, it gives you hope for the future,” Addor said. “I think too many people are embarrassed to show love. I think the cards and the kids are great. It’s nice they came here, I only wish more of the residents could have contact with them.”

The students from Epworth Christian School in Laurel that joined the congressman in distributing the cards made sure to thank each veteran they met in the facility’s “town square” before Carney and his staff walked throughout the facility to meet other veterans.

Carney and his staff brought more than 1,000 Valentine’s Day cards to be distributed to veterans at the facility in Milford for the third annual Valentines for Vets program before heading up to Wilmington to distribute more at the Wilmington VA Medical Center.

As Carney showed the resident veterans council an overflowing box of cards, he explained that the project is not only an opportunity to show appreciation for local veterans, but also a learning opportunity for participating students.

“Valentines for Vets is a great opportunity for young people to make a personal connection with a veteran and learn about the brave men and women who dedicate themselves to serving our country,” Carney said in a press release.

While only a few students from Epworth Christian School were present, the Valentine’s Day cards were made by students from nine additional Delaware schools, including Austin D. Baltz Elementary in Elsmere, Booker T. Washington Elementary in Dover, Carrie Downie Elementary in New Castle, Georgetown Elementary, Lord Baltimore Elementary in Ocean View, Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary in Laurel, Woodbridge Elementary in Greenwood, Lulu M. Ross Elementary and Mispillion Elementary in Milford.

Epworth Christian School Principal Jim Berger said the program was awesome, both for the students and the veterans.

“Valentine’s Day is all about love and there’s no greater love than to lay your life down for someone and that’s what these vets have done,” Berger said. “We just wanted to come here and give that love back to them to celebrate Valentine’s Day.”


In addition to the card presentation on Valentine’s Day, Delaware Hospice is also inviting the public to participate in a Valentines for Vets drive to collect items to be presented to veterans at the Delaware Veterans Home and Home of the Brave on March 7.

Items needed for the Valentine’s gift bag drive, which runs until Feb. 28, include the following: large-print books, puzzle books, jigsaw puzzles, disposable cameras, long-distance phone cards, card games, dice, dominoes, board games, music CDs, movies, newspapers, magazines, koozies, iPods, iTunes gift cards, stress relief squeeze balls, Amazon gift cards, calendars, clocks, slippers, pajamas, underwear, combs, drink pouches, pens, notepads, heat wraps, white socks, video game consoles or games, headphones and K-cups.

Drop-off locations for gift bag items are located at the following Milford locations: Big Lots, CVS/Caremark, Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford, Delaware Hospice Center, the Division of Aging, Walgreens and Walmart.

For more information about the Delaware Hospice drive, call Delaware Hospice Community Education Coordinator Heather Steuer at (302) 299-3152.