For real now, who needs more love on Valentine’s Day (or any day) than women and families in shelters from domestic violence? Here’s our take on how else to give some love this week…
Expectations on Valentine’s Day can get somewhat out of control: fancy dinner, flowers, chocolates, gifts, having or not having a date… GAH! February 14th, where did you come from and why all the expectations?*
In an effort to bring ourselves back to reality, we decided to see what it would be like to put the focus on someone else less fortunate, spending our money and time in ways that could be useful. Don’t worry we’re still eating chocolate. And we aren’t suggesting you invest in an IRA instead of a nice dinner. We’ll save that for a later post.
So without further ado, here’s how to make your own care package for someone who could really use it…
Step 1: Look Up Shelters in Your Area and Find Out What They Need
We found these two New York domestic violence shelters: Safe Horizons and Sanctuary for Families. We checked their websites and called to find out what items are most needed at this time. In this case, it was things like…
- Books (for all ages) (new or gently used)
- Toiletry items (new)
- Accessories like purses, shoes, and jewelry
- School supplies
Step 2: Collect the Goods
We were surprised to find how many things we already owned and were happy to part with for a good cause. Some were new, some gently used, but more importantly, all were on the list of items that the shelters needed. We put in our care package:
- Children’s Books
- Magazines and Books for all ages
- Crayons – for school supplies
- Toiletries – soaps, lotions
- Self Care Items – Loofa, eye mask, exfoliating gloves
- Canned Soup
We also included a handmade V-day card and a cute handmade, recycled bag we made at our Lady-Themed Movie Party for an extra touch of love. And we tossed on a recycled bow made of newspaper for an even more fun and festive look.
Step 3: Deliver the Packages
Make sure you check with the shelter to see how it’s best for them to receive the package.
We will be delivering the packages on Valentines Day so stay tuned for follow up pics!
How It’s Good for Us Too
It’s pretty obvious that giving to those in need is good for the receiver, but we were also blown away by how good it was for us too. Honestly, in making these packages, both of our hearts truly went aflutter. We got the very real rush that comes from doing something meaningful for someone who really needs it. And this was so easy to do AND low-cost to boot. As it turns out, giving to strangers can truly make for a way more special than normal Valentine’s Day.
We hope you are inspired too! If you are interested in doing something similar with domestic violence shelters in your area, please be sure to call or research the organization’s needs beforehand so your items can go to good use. And don’t forget to share your care packages with us on any of our social media feeds. We LOVE pictures.
This post is part of our ongoing series, Good for You, Good for Me. Let us know any ideas you may have for activities like these, and maybe we’ll feature it in a future post.
*According to historians, Valentine’s Day has roots in a Paegan fertility festival that featured “ritualistic slapping of young women” with strips of a sacrificed animal’s bloody skin. Then was Christianized, and then it was commercialized.