Sophomore Kali Coppess makes putting other people first her top priority.
Whether it is the extreme extent of mission trips or a subtle act of making a card, she strives to make someone’s day better.
Kali’s most recent act of kindness took place in a spot no one would expect—the library. To be exact, it took place at the first counter seen when you walk through the library entrance.
Sitting on that very table lies a stack of vibrant papers with other crafting supplies. Any student who chooses to do so is able to go to the media center at any point in the day and make Valentine’s Day cards for the local veterans’ home.
“My motivation [behind making the cards] is making the veterans smile,” Kali said. “They can feel forgotten, and letting them know they are special is such a great feeling.”
Even though she does not have any connection to anyone in the military, Kali still finds herself making time to put as much effort as needed into the cards.
The initial goal is to send two-hundred cards to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, and approximately one-hundred cards have been made so far.
Kali has been a massive help to the speed of this process. Not only has she made twenty cards so far, but she hopes to raise that number to fifty by the time the cards have to be sent out on February 7th.
“It doesn’t have to take long,” Kali said. “We have over one thousand students, and if everyone simply made one [card], then think of how many we could give to not only the veterans but others in need [as well].”
There are many students like Kali who enjoy doing this activity just to make someone’s day, but other students have a different motivation behind joining this project.
“I have actually had a lot of people in my family served in World War II and the Vietnam War so getting to honor them this way is cool,” senior Joelie Havey said. “Almost everyone knows someone who has served, so this is just a great way to honor them.”
Joelie’s connection with the military combined with her love of crafting makes this activity all the more enjoyable.
“I find it so fun to use glitter and markers and cut paper to make something really cute,” Joelie said.
Joelie and Kali are not the only students that enjoy this activity, but there are not very many students that join them in the card-making process.
Copious students will dismiss the idea almost instantly because it is a project that takes up time in an already jam-packed world, but most of those students do not know the true meaning behind these unique cards.
“We wanted to brighten someone’s day,” librarian Jaye Jelier said. “It is also a common activity for the students. I notice that some students come in every day of the week and they just sit down and make a card.”
The February 7 deadline gives students a plethora of time to create as many as they want while also giving the staff at the veterans’ home a chance to equally divide the cards.
The hope is to allow the cards to be sorted into who would appreciate which cards the most. By sending the cards in a week early, it gives them plenty of time to organize the cards before they are placed on the lunch trays.
Even though the cards are made specifically for the veterans, they are not the only ones looking forward to these Valentine’s Day cards.
“When we talked to one of the administrators [at the veterans’ home], she told us that she loves the thought of us making Valentine’s Day cards for, they call them, their Grand Rapids heroes—I love that,” Jelier said.
Not a lot of people take time out of their day to do something kind for the veterans, so these small gestures make a gargantuan difference in their lives.
Even the staff at school notice the time and effort students put into these cards.
“I love the kindness and compassion that I see in our students,” Jelier said. “I love the creativity.”
The Valentine’s Day cards for the veterans have been such a big hit with the students who have participated; the possibility of other activities like this lingers in the halls.
“I love the activity in this place,” Jelier said. “I love that kids are coming in and just sitting quietly while making the cards”
Though it is not something that is largely publicized, an abundance of students that go to the media center wind up making the cards.
The cards, though they affect the veterans greatly, have also affected the students.
“Whether it’s for veterans or not or it’s for any other holiday, I just think it’s fun for everyone to come together and maybe meet a new friend,” Joelie said. “I’ve met a couple of new people while making these cards.
Making Valentine’s Day cards for the veterans is the ideal way to destress throughout the busy weeks of school.
The new friends and prismatic cards have brought joy to every student that has taken the time to make a card.
“If students would like to send a Valentine’s Day card to [a veteran], we would love it for [them] to come down to the [library] and make a card,” Jelier said.