Valentine’s Day is all about the heart and at Gananda, there are some big hearts putting love into action.
A group of fourth-graders at Richard Mann Elementary School, following the lead of Ondine Liposchak, coordinated a school-wide effort to create and deliver Valentine’s Day cards for patients at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester.
“We are trying to celebrate Valentine’s Day for kids who can’t celebrate with their class because they’re in the hospital,” reads the e-mail that Ondine sent to all Elementary students in late January.
Ondine was hoping to have at least her classroom participate but as of this week, more than 320 cards were being sorted and prepared for delivery. And to think it all started with a conversation at home.
“I got the idea one day when I was sitting on my couch and watching some TV and I was crocheting, which is one of my favorite things to do,” said Ondine. “My dad said why don’t you make some crochet projects for the children’s hospital. Great idea! I should do that!”
But if you know Ondine, you know the energy. And you know how quickly the idea grew in strength and scope.
“Then I thought to myself, what if I asked my teacher or (Richard Mann ES Principal) Mrs. Lumb if we could have the school or the class do Valentines for the Golisano Children’s Hospital,” said Ondine.
The fourth-grader tracked down Mrs. Lumb at school one morning and presented the idea. Mrs. Lumb and Ondine then discussed details and contacted the hospital. The idea was welcomed and guidelines (no glitter, food, glued-on items) for the cards were shared.
The only thing left to do was to put the plan into motion. And the response was overwhelming.
“It’s just really exciting because I didn’t think this would actually happen,” said Ondine. “I thought we’d just be doing it with our class and I didn’t even know if it would be OK.”
The cards will be delivered by Ondine, Mrs. Lumb and several helping classmates on Friday, Feb. 9. And seeing an idea spring from the couch to the hospital rooms for children brings a smile to Ondine’s face.
“It makes me feel really happy especially if whoever I’m doing it to is sad or upset in a way because when I do something good for them it makes them feel happy inside,” she said. “It makes their day better.”