When you go to Target, you go into there with a clear mission. Shampoo. Toothpaste. Toilet Paper. Get out. Next thing you know, you've have a cart full of impulse purchases. If you're like Deborah, those purchases were well intentioned! 

Deborah confessed that her impulse purchases are normally craft related and when we asked what she's crafting, she had the sweetest answer ever. She's working on making valentine cards for an incredible organization in the Treasure Valley who's goal is to enrich the lives of seniors in assisted living and memory care centers by providing joy, laughter and gifts on several different holidays. They're called Allona's Angels.

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The non-profit was inspired after sisters Trina and Cindy made the extremely difficult decision to move their mother, Allona, from an assisted living to memory care center in November 2016. One of the questions the girls had was "Is there a holiday celebration for the residents that families can attend?" They were shocked when a caregiver said that there was a small luncheon, but the majority of residents don't have visitors or receive gifts. That's when they decided to start an effort to find gifts for the 35 residents at their mom's new facility. Through their outreach on social media, they were able to partner with local businesses as collection sites and gather enough gifts for not just the residents at their mom's facility, but four other facilities as well.

In February 2017, they went back to the community to ask for handmade valentine cards for seniors. They received over 150 cards that year. By 2020, the same effort collected and distributed over 1,200 cards.

They're back at it this year and these cards are more important than ever, because even the seniors who would've had visitors this year will likely be isolated due to the pandemic. A simple handmade valentine can totally turn around their day and let them know how truly loved they are by our community.

Do you want to round up some friends to help make a difference like our friend Deborah is? There are 14 businesses in the Treasure Valley collecting cards that will be distributed to seniors at 24 facilities in 2021. You can see the drop off locations HERE. Just make sure you have your cards dropped off by February 10!

During the Christmas season, we were lucky enough to be part of a string of holiday parades that visited facilities like the ones that will receive these cards. I can't put into words the gratitude and excitement we saw on the faces of the residents as we drove by waving and beeping our horns. There's no doubt that your cards will make a difference!

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