Veterans

Remembrance continues with Valentines for Vets event

This is the third year of the annual event at Keshen Goodman Public Library

Mateo works on one of many valentines.
Mateo, who came with his mom Gina Comeau, works on one of many valentines cards.   Katie Short

Remembrance Day isn’t the only time when you can appreciate Canadian veterans.

The Keshen Goodman Library hosted its annual Valentines for Vets event Saturday. The program encourages people to craft valentines, which are then sent to veterans in long-term care facilities across Canada in February.

Leah Pohlman, the adult services librarian, ran the event Saturday afternoon. She put out paper, scissors, stickers and glue.

“Children, families, adults have a chance to come and create valentines that we then send to veterans to express our thanks for everything that they’ve done for our country,” Pohlman said.

Esther Bonitto and Sang Lan had come to the library to study, but they heard the library’s announcement and decided to craft a valentine.

“I think that if we support the vets then they will know that people love them and thank them for everything they have done for us,” Lan said.

Valentines for Vets is a national program, run by Veterans Affairs Canada, which sends free materials to schools, libraries and other organizations for participants to craft their own valentines.

Last year over 100 valentines were made at Keshen Goodman Library, and they’re hoping to beat that number this year.

Crafters filled this basket with messages of love and thanks.
Crafters filled this basket with messages of love and gratitude.   Katie Short

Gina Comeau and her son Mateo are newcomers to Halifax, and saw the event as a chance to get involved. They made at least 25 valentines together. One said, “We may never meet face to face, but know you are in our hearts.”

“We’ve lived overseas for about 15 years and this is our first year back, so we decided that it would be a good way to show appreciation, as well as get back into the community and help out in whatever ways that we can,” Comeau said.

At the same time, people were invited to fill out a postcard for the Postcards for Peace program, where they are provided free postcards for active-duty soldiers overseas. The postcards will be sent out the next working business day.

“The reception is fantastic,” Pohlman said.

“When we sent off postcards last year … our youth services librarian received a handwritten note from one of the head soldiers at the base, thanking her and letting her know that it just lifted and boosted the spirits of the men and women there so much, and that’s so important.”