WKYC Shares the Love!
Alliance non-profit brings Valentine’s Day to sick children
by Jordan Miller
Andrea Margida and family started The Valentine Project in 2011.
The Alliance-based non-profit organization benefits children with cancer and other chronic illnesses. “Kids whose lives are really different or turned upside down by a serious diagnosis often dread Valentine’s Day,” Andrea says.
Eight years ago, the family chose 88 children suffering from pediatric cancer, who could use a little love on valentine’s day. “We were in awe from what it meant to not just the children but also the families,” Andrea said.
At first, the act of kindness was anonymous, gifts were sent to doorsteps without anyone knowing who their secret valentine was. As the project grew bigger, it became “The Valentine Project.
The Margida family have gone from sending 88 kids pillowcases full of Valentine’s Day gifts, to nearly 1,000 kids around the state last year.
“We had decided to open this to families with chronic illnesses too,” Andrea says. “We realized kids with chronic illnesses sit in these same rooms and they have a life sentence.”
“[Sara] was moved to tears because her child is not terminal, and her child doesn’t have cancer, but she has a very serious illness and doesn’t qualify for many programs that are out there,” says Andrea Margida.
“It just brings me so much happiness knowing there a people out there willing to make these packages for people that they’ve never met before,” adds Taggart.
The Valentine Project includes every child in the home, with siblings of the sick child will receiving care packages, too. “They go through a lot while their brother or sister is sick,” Andrea said.
The Valentine House is overflowing with gifts, and it takes a team of volunteers to stuff the pillow cases and get them on their way to arrive for the holiday of love.
“It warms my heart at how many good, kind, generous people are out in the world They’re all willing to put together a beautiful package for a child they’re never going to meet,” says Margida.
For more information on the “The Valentine Project” or to get involved click here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]