Chelsea McDevitt (2016) and Rachel Lia (2015), are student leaders of the Valentines for Veterans project.

Teens Show Appreciation to Disabled Veterans on Valentine’s Day

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Thursday February 12, 2015

Students at South Burlington High School have found a way to give to the local military veterans at White River Junction VA Hospital and Northfield Veterans’ Home on Valentine’s Day. Coordinated by junior Chelsea McDevitt and senior Rachel Lia, Valentines for Veterans is a continuing project that shows some love to those who have served our country. 

“Valentines for Veterans is designed to show appreciation for local veterans by providing them with things such as hats, gloves, socks, toiletries, and a homemade valentine,” explained Rachel.

“It’s a way to give thanks to those who fought for our country and who may not have loved ones at this time,” added Chelsea. “My brother is a veteran with disabilities, and because of his disabilities from the war, there aren’t many people who can be around him, so it’s hard for him on days like Christmas and Valentine’s. I know he’s not the only one this happens to.”

“I got the idea last year at the Veteran’s Day assembly, and I thought it would be nice to do something for veterans. I brought it to the Community Development Center’s (CDC) attention, and our advisor, Mrs. Lavarnway, thought it was a good idea. We began working on the project in December, and went through the process of trying to get donations. Around the 26th of January, we had students at a Coalition for Community Service meeting make the cards, and a couple days before Valentine’s Day, we delivered them along with the donations to White River Junction in Northfield.”

Because Chelsea was sick for a period of time, Rachel stepped in to call companies and businesses to see if they could donate anything for the gift bags.

The Coalition for Community Service (CCS) at South Burlington High School made 190 valentines for the Pines Senior Living Center, and 100 additional valentines. 60 of these additional valentines were included in gift bags that were sent to White River Junction VA Hospital, and 40 were sent to Northfield Veteran’s Home.

Socks were donated by Cabot Hosiery Mills, soaps were donated by Twincraft, lotions and shampoos were donated by Courtyard Burlington Harbor hotel, hats were donated by Turtle Fur, and dental products were donated by Timberlane Dental Group. Additional donations were made by SBHS faculty, staff, students, and parents, with special thanks to CCS students.

With these practical items plus personal Valentine’s Day greetings, CDC students hope to show veterans they are not forgotten, but remembered and celebrated.

SOURCE: Patrick Ryan, SBHS CDC Correspondent