Writing a different story for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day means a lot of different things to different people.

For some, it’s a celebration of love. For some, believe it or not, it’s a religious festival. In fact, that’s how it began. (It’s still a sacred observance in many Christian traditions.)

For others, Valentine’s Day poses something of a dilemma. We want to celebrate our love for each other, but we’re uneasy with all the commercialized hype. And let’s face it: Valentine’s Day is one of the most hyped, commercial celebrations on the calendar.

Last year, Americans spent almost $19 billion on Valentine’s Day. The average person shelled out $142.

That’s a lot of overpriced chocolate.

The pursuit of manufactured love on Valentine’s Day leaves many of us feeling empty. The mismatched expectations that often accompany the celebration leave many feeling deflated.

This year, however, some of you have chosen to write a different story for Valentine’s Day.

This year, some of you are celebrating a different kind of love. Not the forced, manufactured love that relies on candy hearts and overpriced chocolate—but the kind of love that can literally mend hearts.

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This year, you’re using Valentine’s Day to celebrate stories of kids like Hamam, Ali, Zainab, and Taleen—stories you’ve helped write. Each of them had a broken heart that you mended. Each received a lifesaving heart surgery, because of you.

That’s something worth celebrating this Valentine’s Day.

This year, some of you are inviting your loved ones to join you in trading overpriced chocolate for heart-mending love. You’re inviting others to write even more stories like these.

It’s not every day that a party can save a life. But this weekend, many of you will celebrate. And many lives will be saved because of it.

Thank you for being a #HeartMender for kids like Ali. Thank you for inviting others to remake your world with you, one heart at a time.

Photos: Anna CatherineLydia Phillips, MOPS Bellville, Kevin McCarty