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Young people to lift the spirits of Chatham's seniors with Valentine's Day cards

Posted Thursday, January 8, 2015

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Pittsboro, NC - Many seniors involved with the Chatham County Council on Aging's nutrition program will be receiving handmade Valentine's Day cards created by youth volunteers as part of a nationwide Love Letters campaign. In its second year, Love Letters is a joint effort of, the largest organization for young people and social change, AARP Foundation's Mentor Up and the Meals On Wheels Association of America.

"To know that others, especially young people, care enough to reach out and take time to share their concern and love for our seniors is heartwarming. About half of those we serve live alone. Getting a homemade Valentine's Day card will be particularly special for them," said Chatham Council of Aging Executive Director Dennis Streets.

The popular campaign encourages young people to create handmade Valentine's Day cards to lift the spirits of older adults through February 15, 2015. Cards will be included in meal deliveries to clients of Meals on Wheels clients across the country. Young people who sign up at and report back with a photo will be eligible to win a $10,000 scholarship.

"Last year, members made over a quarter of a million Valentine's Day cards for homebound seniors," said Naomi Hirabayashi, chief marketing officer at "By combining social change with things that young people love, such as Valentine=92s Day and crafts, young people are able to make a huge impact and use their skills."

The created cards will be distributed through the Meals On Wheels Association of America's network, which serves 2.5 million seniors who are homebound due to limited mobility. The support of the volunteers and meals they provide is critical to helping them maintain enough independence to stay in their own homes.

Actress and singer China Anne McClain, best known for her roles in Disney Channel's A.N.T. Farm and the Disney Channel Original Movie How to Build a Better Boy, is teaming up to support the campaign through a public service announcement.

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