When we think of Valentine’s Day our mind automatically travels to flowers, candlelit dinners and "Be Mine" cards.
It’s exactly that commercialization, however, that has spoiled the day for many. Where’s the love, some might ask? Not just romantic love, but any kind of love that is meaningful to us: love for our family, friends and the people in our community.
Along the same lines of thinking, creator of Network for Good Katya Andresen, has pushed for
The Origins of V-Day
Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine, a 3rd-century martyr. His feast day was the same as the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia, which is why Valentine's day is associated with love. If you’re planning a trip to Rome, stop at the Basilica of Santa Maria to see the saint’s flower-adorned skull on display.
renaming Valentine’s Day to Generosity Day — and for making February 14 all about selfless acts to help others.
Before you cancel that dinner reservation or return those chocolates, let’s pause for a second: What if there was a way to have your romantic candlelight dinner, eat it too and give back to others at the same time?
Well, we have good news for you: There is! Here are some suggestions how you can make Valentine's Day doubly meaningful this year by celebrating with your loved ones and give back to your community.
Send a Candygram For Good
Nothing sweeter than a Candygram to express your love for your wife, husband, partner, friend or crush! Back for the third year, Vancouver’s A Loving Spoonful will be offering Valentine’s Day Candygrams for $10. Each Candygram comes with a card with 150 messages to choose from and two chocolate hearts. And the best part about these sweet ‘grams: All funds will be used to provide meals for men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS.
Buy Flowers for Food
Former news anchor Marrett Green founded Flowers for Food after witnessing a homeless man offering flowers to motorists for spare change. Flowers for Food’s mission is to provide financial and social opportunities for the hard-to-employ. Flower distributors donate specimens that are too short, lack a couple of petals or are otherwise “unsellable” and homeless or marginalized vendors sell them at various locations throughout Vancouver.
Buy a Meal, Give a Meal
Social enterprise Mealshare is built on the simple yet genius idea that people can help people in need simply by eating a meal. Partnering restaurants add the Mealshare logo to certain items on their menu. All customers have to do is order a marked item (there’s no extra charge) and the restaurant gives $1 for a meal at a local soup kitchen for someone in need.
Spread Kindness for a Week
Participate in Random Acts of Kindness Week and explore how you like to give back. From February 9-15 challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone by performing a random act of kindness each day. From smiling at a stranger to writing a thank you card or cooking a meal for a friend — there are a million ways to be kind to others besides donating money.
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!