FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO) — Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and the occasion gave Stephenson County residents a reason to spread some love to a local nursing home.
Love was in their air, and locals wanted to show how much they love and support Walnut Acres, the public nursing home. They created Valentine’s Day cards for all of the residents.
“It really is heartwarming and really makes me happy for how strong the community is in Freeport, on how everybody is able to come together and make valentines for Walnut Acres and really share the love,” said Freeport resident Ian Mangan.
Locals gathered at Nine East Coffee to make valentines for Walnut Acres residents. Mangan said that he was happy to give back by making a personalized, handwritten Valentine’s Day cards.
“Being able to give back to the community and show the people of Walnut Acres that they’re loved and appreciated, and that the community is here to take care of them,” Mangan said.
It showed the residents of Walnut Acres that they matter to the community. Mangan said that it was something that he would want.
Organizer Laura Youngblut said that this was a community idea.
“We’ve collected hundreds of valentines for the residents out there, so each resident is going to get multiple valentines,” Youngblut said. “So, I think that is the best part. It’s like each resident is going to get many love notes from community members.”
Kids from Pecatonica and Empire schools helped in creating cards, even spreading the love in different languages.
All of the cards were taken to Walnut Acres to be passed out to residents.
“That has served the citizens of this county for 169 years, so this is great opportunity for the citizens to give back to one another,” Youngblut said.
Mangan hopes that there are more opportunities like this to remind people that they are not alone, but are loved and appreciated.
“Don’t forget about people,” Mangan said. “It doesn’t take much for people to feel appreciated. A simple [thing], like taking time out of your day to write a handwritten note. It makes all the difference.”
Organizers said that they hope to make this an annual event.