In 2009, with a goal of helping even more people, Vicki Neilson says The Giving Heart initiated the Secret Senior Valentine Bag project when she realized she had leftover donations from the Thanksgiving Feast. The first year, she worked with the Hanover County Sheriff’s Department, who already had an “adopt a senior” program in place.
“There were about twenty-three seniors living on their own who the deputies had been keeping an eye on,” says Neilson. “So we delivered Valentine Bags to those folks that year, and since then, it has grown.”
Neilson noted that last year, The Giving Heart volunteers assembled and distributed more than 400 Valentine-themed bags to seniors in Hanover, Henrico, City of Richmond, Chesterfield, and New Kent.
Whether it’s through the Community Feast or the Secret Senior Valentine project, Elliott and Neilson agree that The Giving Heart’s mission is all about connecting with people and bringing joy to others’ lives, especially during the holiday season.
Click for donation requests, drop-sites, and more regarding this year’s Valentine Bags for seniors.