As Valentine’s Day approaches, many students are making plans with their significant others. Some plan on going on a romantic trip to the beach, or maybe go to that new movie they’ve been dying to see; however, one teacher is focusing on brightening up the lives of others who may not have a sweetheart this year. Teacher Allison Bolin is making a difference in the lives of patients at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois by sending them electronic Valentine’s Day cards.
“Last year, my cousin’s 5-year-old son Tim was a patient at Lurie Children’s Hospital.” Bolin said. “He received a heart transplant in June 2012.”
With messages like “Handfuls of Love”, “Big Valentine Wishes”, and “You Rock!”, Bolin encourages the children at the hospital who are struggling to remain hopeful and stay positive. The cards are able to be typed up using a computer and are sent directly to the hospital’s inbox, where the kids can see them.
Lurie Children’s Hospital’s outstanding nurses and medical staff have been constantly recognized nationally for their compassion and care towards the children they look after. So Bolin derived her inspiration to start the project from not only her hospitalized family member, but also from the helpful and hospitable staff she met while visiting the hospital.
“I visited him and his family and met many of the doctors, nurses, and patients there,” Bolin said. “So, I was able to see firsthand how great the staff is at the hospital.”
Although this is her first year participating in the project, Bolin feels extremely optimistic and hopes to continue it every Valentine’s Day. Many students are interested in helping out, and have already started sending out cards of their own.
“I have never done this project before, so I will encourage my students to do this as well,” Bolin said. “Hopefully it becomes a yearly tradition.”
The hospital has very high hopes of it becoming a tradition as well, posting a goal of receiving 8,000 Valentine cards before Valentine’s Day in order to make sure that every child in the hospital has a card to read. Lurie Children’s Hospital depends on people like Ms. Bolin to help bring a smile to children who need them the most.