Valentines for Vets

hand-made valentineThis Valentine’s Day thank Canadian Veterans by sending them a hand-made valentine.

Each year, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) invites Canadian schools, individuals and organizations to make Valentines for Vets. VAC then distributes the valentines to Veterans in long-term care facilities across the country by February 14.

Valentines for Vets began in 1989 when the late newspaper columnist, Ann Landers, encouraged her readers to create special valentines for Veterans in care facilities throughout Canada and the United States. Every year, Landers' special "Valentines for Vets" column asked her readers to remember the sacrifices of their nations' Veterans by making them personal hand-crafted valentines.

VAC became involved with the program in 1996, and has been receiving and distributing valentines to Veterans in care facilities across the country ever since.

Though Ann Landers passed away in 2002, VAC is committed to continuing her project of thanking Veterans. At VAC we invite Canadians, young and old, to send valentines to our Head Office. Your continued participation is what makes the Valentines for Vets program such a huge success.

For Educators

Canadian FlagAre you interested in teaching your students about Canadian Veterans? Would you like to learn more about an interactive project you can do with your students? If so, Valentines for Vets is just the project for you.

The Valentines for Vets program helps us thank our Veterans, not only on Remembrance Day but throughout the year. It is also an opportunity for you to share with your students the accomplishments and sacrifices of our Veterans, giving them a greater understanding of Canada's proud military history.

These hand-crafted valentines will be distributed to Veterans in long-term care facilities across Canada. Though they may never meet the Canadians who created the valentines, some Veterans will deeply appreciate these messages.

Sending your Valentines

Homemade ValentinesIf you would like to send a valentine thanking a Veteran, please send it by February 1 to:

Valentines for Vets
Veterans Affairs Canada
Commemoration, Distribution Unit
125 Maple Hills Avenue
Charlottetown, PE  C1C 0B6

Veterans Affairs Canada will keep valentines that arrive after the deadline to distribute next year.
All other enquiries: vac.information.acc@canada.ca

Tips and Message Ideas

Tips for Teachers

  1. Please do not include candy or chocolate with the valentines.
  2. Do not use sparkles or materials that easily break off the valentines.
  3. Encourage your students to sign their valentines and to write a bit about themselves—their age and what school they attend. However, do not include addresses or phone numbers.
  4. Do not put individual valentines in sealed envelopes. Send us a single large envelope containing all of the valentines.
  5. Do not put the date or year on the valentines.
  6. Ensure your students are aware of who Veterans are—they are living and were men and women who served in the military. Avoid using "RIP" and images related to violence or death such as graveyards or guns.

Message Ideas

Homemade Valentines
  1. Tell the Veteran why they are important, what you plan to do this year to remember our nation's proud military history, or the reason you want to wish them a Happy Valentine's Day.
  2. Thank the Veteran for his or her service, sacrifice and commitment to our country and citizens.
  3. Write a poem or include one of significance to Valentine's Day or to Veterans, such as, "In Flanders Fields" or "Roses are Red."
  4. Send a store-bought valentine; hand-crafted cards, however, make Veterans feel extra special.
  5. Valentines of all shapes, sizes, and colours are welcome. However, valentines that are greeting-card size are easier to package and distribute.

Here are some messages Veterans have received...

"Thank you for your bravery and courage in the war. Without your courageous acts we may not be here today."

"I sincerely thank you for your dedication to our country. Your sacrifice in the face of great danger, and the bravery that you showed will echo in the generations to come. Your heroism has inspired me to do many things."

"Thank you for risking your life for my freedom."

"I am sending you a special valentine wish. I want to let you know how much you are appreciated, and thought of often."

"Mere words cannot describe how thankful we all are for all of the devotion and hard work it took to go to war."

"A card made for someone special, who changed the world for the better; and for that you will always be loved, remembered, and treasured."

"For someone special, who's changed the world for the better; you are loved and appreciated and thought of often!"

"We thank you for your many efforts and sacrifices. We feel secure and safe because you made sure that we do. With much gratitude and appreciation."

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