BARBERTON, OH — Many older folks will be stuck at home or inside a long-term care facility this Valentine's Day, and they could use some love after being cooped up for months. A local library is helping to show those seniors some love.
It’s a feeling Paula Wagner, Barberton Public Library reference services manager, knows all too well.
Wagner says she has not been able to see her elderly aunt, who lives in a nursing home in St. Louis, in about a year because of coronavirus concerns.
“She's really on my mind because even if I was there, I couldn't see her because of COVID,” Wagner explained.
The overwhelming feeling of sadness and isolation Wagner says her family is coping with is what helped spark a special project to show seniors in Barberton they are not alone.
“We have such a great community of crafters and just really caring people that I thought, well, let's make these Valentine kit bags for the seniors,” said Wagner.
Using arts and craft kits put out by Wagner’s team at the Barberton Public Library, residents are creating their own valentine's day cards signed with love and dedicated to Barberton’s seniors. As of Wednesday, Wagner says they’ve received 70 cards.
“We're giving them to anybody in the Barberton community who can get to the library. They can have as many kids as they would like and then they bring they make them and they bring it back a few days later,” she said.
Wagner hopes the simple gesture makes our seniors feel loved. After all, it’s helping her feel closer to her aunt.
“I hope that they realize how much we care about them and how much the community loves someone thinks about them and that it brightens their day,” she said.
Residents have until Friday to request a valentine's day kit and to bring their cards back to the library.
Wagner plans on delivering them to at least three nursing homes there in Barberton on Saturday. She hopes to continue the project next year.