Making Valentine’s Day cards for a cause

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Local designer and card-maker Carol Pearse is teaming up with Soap For Hope YYC to offer a special opportunity just in time for Valentine’s Day – a workshop Feb. 3 where participants will not only create three personalized cards to take home, but will also help make 250 handmade valentines for seniors.

“We find that seniors tend to not have anybody think of them during the holidays – not just at Christmas, but any holiday,” Pearse said. “So, we’re coming to let them know that this year, someone was thinking of them around Valentine’s Day.”

Pearse, who has been teaching card-making in Airdrie for nearly 25 years, took on the challenge last year – but said she quickly realized that the task was too big for one person to take on alone.

“I found that I really needed more help, so I got the idea to do it as a fundraiser – the idea kind of percolated around for a while, and this is what we came up with,” she said. “We’ve put out a call for people to come help, and also raise some money for a great cause.”

According to Pearse, Soap For Hope is an organization that collects donations to create hygiene kits that are distributed to homeless shelters, where they are provided to people who need them. One of the items included in each kit is a homemade face cloth – which is often made by one of the residents at a local care home.

“A lot of seniors knit these cloths for us, so it’s a very symbiotic relationship,” Pearse said. “This is our way of saying thank you and show our appreciation – without singling out individual people. We want everybody to be included.”

Last year, all extra valentines were delivered with Soap For Hope’s hygiene kits through the organization’s other Valentine’s Day event – donating “hug shrugs” to homeless people throughout Calgary. Pearse said that as a member of the Airdrie community for nearly 40 years, she was eager to start giving back – and felt Soap For Hope provided the perfect opportunity.

“I love the philosophy of being inclusive, so this was really an organization that struck a chord with me,” she said. “I’m offering this card-making class as a straight fundraiser for Soap For Hope – I’m not charging anything for my time.”

The workshop, which will be hosted at Soap For Hope in Airdrie Feb. 3 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., costs $10 and is open to anyone aged 6 and up. According to Pearse, kids are more than welcome to participate – but the age guideline is for safety reasons, since scissors will be used in the creation of the valentines.

“Just bring a smile and be prepared to have fun,” she said. “You’ll not only be doing something nice for our seniors, but you’ll leave with three cards of your own – personalized cards that you’ve made yourself.”

To pre-register, call 403-606-2000.

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