Surrey Youth Lifting the Spirits of Seniors on Valentine's Day

Friendly online competition leads to artwork for seniors on Valentine’s Day.

February 14, 2021

Since mid-January, youth enrolled in the City’s volunteer programs have been engaging in a friendly online competition to create artwork for Valentine’s Day e-cards for seniors. The winning designs are being sent to 245 seniors who, before COVID-19, were also active volunteers in Surrey.

“While in-person volunteer opportunities have been suspended due to COVID-19, these young leaders have stepped up to spread some joy to seniors this Valentines Day,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “We know that Surrey’s youth want to help others during these difficult times. Not only have they lifted the spirits of our seniors, but it gave our youth a creative outlet as we work our way through the pandemic. I want to thank all of the young artists who have taken part in this wonderful and meaningful project.”

Displaying hearts on a laptop
Karen McGregor

Karen McGregor has been volunteering with the city on boards, community committees, and the Whalley Little League for over 10 years.

“What I like most in volunteering is meeting new people and being a part of my community,” said Karen. “When I received the Valentine’s card it really brightened my day to have connection. The artwork reminded me of homemade cards, something we just don’t see much of anymore. A lot of thought and care went into the design, and the best thing somebody can give of themselves is time. Time is always remembered by those you give it to.”

Original designs created by youth, 14 to 18 years old, were inspired by Joanna Fuchs’ poem entitled “If Valentine’s Day Did Not Exist,” and were judged remotely by a panel of volunteers. Five designs from the 25 received were featured on the e-cards. Besides bragging rights and bringing joy to Surrey’s seniors, winning youth will also receive credit for volunteer hours, along with a small prize package.

Young girl holds Valentine
Lahna Akbar

Lahna Akbar, the artist behind one of the winning cards, enjoys volunteering because it gives her a sense of purpose.

“The fulfillment in giving back and contributing to society is unparalleled and it gave me a natural sense of accomplishment,” said Lahna. “I loved making the card because it allowed me to express creativity and incorporate my imagination for the design. I feel contentment that a local senior will receive my valentines’ card.”

Over 300 youth across Surrey donate their time for events and day camps when the volunteer program is fully operational. Through volunteering, youth gain important leadership skills, confidence and volunteer hours required for school.