Lowell Students Spread Valentine’s Cheer to Local Seniors

Lisa Mills prepares goodie bags for residents of Maple Ridge Manor.

Area assisted living and senior care centers were surprised with special deliveries of Valentine’s Day cards from local students. The Lowell High School Competitive Cheer team spearheaded Operation Cheerful Hearts which collected cards from students in preschool through 12th grade and then delivered them to Green Acres of Lowell, Fountain View of Lowell and Maple Ridge Manor. The project was a hit with students and resulted in stacks of Valentine’s Day cards arriving at each facility.

Lisa Mills, who oversees activities at Maple Ridge Manor as the Director of Excitement, says it was a bit overwhelming to see so many cards delivered. However, she quickly set to work placing them in goodie bags being prepared for residents. The facility also received cards from Cherry Creek Elementary School so there will be no shortage of Valentines to decorate rooms at the assisted living center on Foreman Street.

“I know my residents are going to love going through their bags and receiving the love from our community,” Mills says. “It really touched my heart.”

In addition to collecting Valentine’s cards, the competitive cheer team also incorporated a contest into Operation Cheerful Hearts to encourage students to be creative when making homemade cards. Students were broken into four groups by grade, and the person making the most creative Valentine in each group won a $15 gift card.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult, and often lonely, period for many older residents, but the delivery of cards from area students exemplifies how people have been finding ways, big and small, to pull together. As Mills notes,  “[This] is our Lowell community — extremely caring,.”

All photos courtesy of Lisa Mills.

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