8 Charitable Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Editor’s note: This Care2 favorite was originally posted on February 4, 2014.

I generally hate Valentine’s Day. I tend to think it’s a pointless holiday that alienates people who aren’t paired off and that asks those who are to spend countless amounts of money on each other.

I’m not saying this because I’m single and the thought of Valentine’s Day makes me sad. In fact, I’m happily married to a very thoughtful man who would care about the holiday if I did, too. Valentine’s Day just seems like another way to guilt the public into spending more money on frivolous red and pink products covered with hearts.

Because of this, I usually ignore Valentine’s Day. I enjoy watching my students celebrate, but then I go home and act like it’s just any other day. This year, however, one of my students had a great idea. She wanted our after-school girls’ group to make handmade Valentine’s for women in local homeless shelters. I thought this was a fantastic idea, so we got started right away.

But why stop there? Here’s a list of eight charitable ways to spread the love to those who need it most this Valentine’s Day.

1. Handmade Valentine’s for People in Need

This first idea came from my student’s. It’s a great option because you don’t need much in the way of time, money or supplies. All you need is some red and pink construction paper, scissors, markers and this list of Valentine’s Day puns.

Cut out some hearts, draw some pictures and write some cute and funny valentines, then deliver them to local shelters. You probably won’t ever know how much this means to the receivers. While you’re at it, consider bringing along some much-needed winter donations.

2. Send Love Letters

Along the same lines, you can send handmade valentines, cards or letters to soldiers who are currently overseas and away from their loved ones. This is a great way to show our service men and women that they are appreciated during a time when they will be missing home and in need of something special.

3. Visit the Elderly

If crafts and letter-writing aren’t for you, try logging some face-to-face time in a retirement home. The elderly are often forgotten on holidays like this one, but they might be the ones who are missing their loved ones the most. Take some time out of your Valentine’s Day to play a game or read to an elderly person. This is also a great activity to do with the kids to help them realize the importance of showing love to everyone.

4. Bake Cookies for a Cause

If you are a baker, consider making some heart-shaped cookies with pink and red frosting. You can take them to shelters, soup kitchens or retirement homes. Everyone deserves a little comfort on Valentine’s Day — and what better way to give it than with some warm cookies right out of the oven and baked with love?

5. Give Gifts that Give Back

If you don’t have the time or inclination to try any of the above ideas, but you want to show your partner you care in more ways than one, buy a gift that gives back. Purchase something where a portion of the proceeds goes to a charity, or make a donation in your partner’s name to a cause he or she feels passionate about. Not all gifts have to come in little boxes!

6. Dine Out at a Restaurant Fundraiser

Another great way to help raise money for the cause is a food fundraiser. Many restaurants host fundraisers for particular causes around Valentine’s Day. Search them out and take your sweetheart to one of those restaurants. You’ll get a great night out with your partner, and you’ll be helping a great cause.

7. Get Your Heart Pumping

If you live in a warmer climate, Valentine’s Day is also a popular day for charity walks and runs. If fitness is your thing, sign up for a charity walk to raise awareness, money and your heart rate. Better yet, make it a date and invite your sweetie to join you.

8. Offer Random Acts of Kindness

February isn’t only about Valentine’s Day. Random Acts of Kindness Day falls on February 17 this year. Take on a few little acts of kindness to show people you care. Bring baked goods for your office, eat lunch with someone new, donate your old clothing or give up your sweet parking spot for someone who needs it. All of these things can really show you care.

Photo Credit: Pushkar Girme/Unsplash


Sarah A
Past Member 3 months ago

Thank you

Anna R
Anna R4 months ago

thanks for sharing

Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson4 months ago

Thank you.

Janis K
Janis K5 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Ann B
Ann B5 months ago

wonderful suggestions but i dont see too many being done-----several of us took valentine balloons to the nursing homes and they brought a lot of smiles

Julia R
Julia R5 months ago

Great suggestions! Thank you. Happy Valentine’s Day to all care2 members!

Leo C
Leo C5 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

Lorraine A
Lorraine A5 months ago

all great ideas. We have a number of schools who make valentines for the veterans and bring them into the hospital.

Elisabeth T
Elisabeth T5 months ago

Great ideas, thanks for sharing.

Mike R
Mike R5 months ago