Volunteers spend day of service making cards for veterans
Valentine's Day is nearly a month away, but on a Monday afternoon, the Scappoose Senior Center is abuzz with volunteers pasting glittery hearts and stickers onto cards.
Each year, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, more than a dozen volunteers from the Retired Senior Volunteer Program join together at the senior center to hand-make valentine cards that will be distributed to veterans throughout Columbia County and beyond.
Handwritten messages on the cards let those who served the country know that someone is thinking of them.
The Valentines for Vets program has become an annual tradition for Columbid County RSVP on what is recognized as a national Day of service.
For Betty Stuber, the service project marked a perfect time to introduce her grandchildren to the rewards of volunteering.
"They're out of school today, so I encouraged them to come," Stuber said, looking down at a quarter-sheet-size card with an American flag. Stuber said she joined RSVP last year.
Monica Cade, executive director of RSVP, coordinates the service project each year.
"We're going to be delivering valentines to as many veterans throughout the county as we can," Cade noted. "We go to assisted living facilities, service clubs. We have over 6,000 vets in our county, but it's not always easy to find them."
Cade said, typically, the distribution stops reach veterans from several generations, who fought in wars spanning World War II to the Iraq War. Any leftover cards that aren't distributed are typically taken to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Vancouver, Wash.