Members of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW post 7946 in Jefferson made Valentine’s Day cards by hand to give to veterans in the state.
“We make Valentines each year and send them down to (Asheville),” said Jo Starling, President of Ladies Auxiliary in Jefferson. “The nurses then put the Valentines on the breakfast trays.”
Once the cards are completed by the volunteers, they are sent to the Charles George Veteran Affairs Hospital in Asheville.
“We make sure all of the Veterans receive a Valentine,” Starling said.
Starling said the Ladies Auxiliary sent 125 Valentines this year. In 2013, the Auxiliary sent 240 of the handmade cards.
This is the third year the Ladies Auxiliary has participated in the project. Starling said a lot of effort goes into making the cards, but it is an enjoyable experience.
“I personally enjoy making the cards,” Starling said. “It takes a lot of time, but we enjoy it.
The cards are sent anonymously, saying they were sent by the Ladies Auxiliary. Still, there are sometimes the ladies will receive phone calls from those who are given the cards.
“(The Valentine’s cards) are very well received, and we don’t put our names on them,” Starling said. “We always get a thank you from the administration there, and every now and then a person will try and find out who sent the card to thank her personally.”
In addition to sending the Valentine’s Day cards, the Ladies Auxiliary in Jefferson also works with the VA hospital to make heart pillows for veterans who are going through heart surgery.
“That is an ongoing project for us,” Starling said. “When we have a batch (of the pillows) made, we just send them down.”
The heart pillows are used for when veterans are doing breathing exercises or to hold on to when they cough to lessen the pain. Starling said the auxiliary will send between 12 and 15 pillows at a time to Asheville.
Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty