For the last 30 years, Valentines for Vets has been showing gratitude to Veterans for their sacrifices and achievements in serving Canada.
Every year, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) invites Canadian schools, individuals and organizations to make Valentines for Vets. Once received, VAC then distributes the valentines to Veterans in long-term care facilities across the country in time for February 14.
“Valentines for Vets provides an opportunity for Canadians to thank our Canadian Veterans for their service,” says Martin Magnan, team lead media, Veterans Affairs Canada. “The personal touch of handmade valentines brings smiles to their faces—some Veterans even display their cards for weeks after Valentine’s Day.”
The initiative was created by late newspaper columnist, Ann Landers, encouraged her readers to create special valentines for Veterans in care facilities throughout Canada and the United States. VAC became involved with the program in 1996 and has been receiving and distributing valentines to Veterans in care facilities across the country ever since.
Landers passed away in 2002. However, VAC says they are committed to continuing her legacy of honouring Veterans while reminding Canadians to be grateful and help teach students about Veterans’ sacrifices and successes along the way.
Last year, Veterans Affairs Canada sent approximately 19,000 valentines to more than 5,400 Veterans in 1,371 long-term care facilities.
Canadians interested in sending a valentine to a Veteran can send them by February 1st to Valentines for Vets Veterans Affairs Canada Commemoration, Distribution Unit 125 Maple Hills Ave. Charlottetown, PE C1C 0B6.
Although creativity is encouraged, Magnan says to check the “tips and message ideas” page online to make sure steps and instructions are followed to ensure valentines will be distributed.
“Please don’t include any chocolate or candy in Valentines,” says Magnan. “Don’t use sparkles or materials that can easily break off.”
Valentines that are not received by the deadline will be kept to distribute next year.