Valentines for Veterans: UK students find a ‘little way’ to give back


UK students created almost 100 valentines for veterans at the Veterans Affairs hospital on Cooper Drive on February 8, 2019, in the White Hall classroom building. Photo provided by Sheri Pass.

Emily Laytham

It’s official: the UK campus community has coupled with veterans this Valentine’s Day.

The Center for Community Outreach and Young at Heart organized the pairing through the Valentines for Veterans program, which allowed UK students to create Valentine’s Day cards for Lexington veterans.

Young at Heart, a branch of the Center for Community Outreach, is an organization that seeks to “help bridge the gap between the college campus and the elderly community,” said volunteer Sheri Pass, a junior psychology and Spanish major.

On Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of this week, Pass and other Young at Heart volunteers were set up on the first floor of White Hall to facilitate the valentines’ creation.

For three days, the volunteers piled tables high with stickers, markers and stamps. Students passing to and from class often stopped to contribute their own artistic vision to the program.

Pass said the decision to partner with veterans this Valentine’s Day was influenced by a desire to show appreciation.

“Basically, we just want to bring a little light and happiness on this holiday to some people who might not get as much attention in the community,” Pass said.

Pass added that the Young at Heart volunteers wanted to focus the Valentine’s Day program on veterans to show respect for their service.

“It’s something special that they do for us, and this is a little way that we can give back to them,” Pass said.

Olivia Walker, a junior Spanish and biology major, said that students had created about 60 valentines by the program’s second day on Thursday, Feb. 7.

By Friday, Feb. 8, that number had increased to around 100, Pass said.

These valentines will eventually be distributed into the hands of veterans at the Lexington VA Medical Center on Cooper Dr.