by Riva Ham 

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Valentine’s Day? Do you think about boxes of chocolates, roses, holding hands, huge teddy bears, or taking long romantic walks in the park?

Why is it that we only focus on celebrating a significant other on Valentine’s Day? This is a question that I had to ask myself. A friend of mine reconfirmed that thought when she asked what my plans were for the day. When I told her that I planned to spend time with me, myself, and I; she kindly reminded me that Valentine’s Day isn’t just about being in a relationship. The true purpose of the day is to show and spread love to everyone. She went on to say that we should not just go out of our way to show love and be kind on Valentine’s Day, we should do so every day.

My friend’s words made me reflect on acts of love and kindness that I have witnessed over the past month. There was one act in particular that has stayed with me. Ms. Stephine Foster, the front desk supervisor at My Sister’s Place Women’s Center, decided to give away the coat off of her back to one of the clients. It was a brutally cold day and a few women walked into the center. One of the women had on a very light sweater that stopped at her waist. When Ms. Stephine noticed that the woman did not have on a coat, she asked her why. The woman replied and began to tell Ms. Stephine the story of how her coat had been taken. Ms. Stephine was moved by the woman’s story, and assured her that she would find a coat for her to wear. After about fifteen minutes of trying to find a coat with no luck, Ms. Stephine decided to give the woman her own coat.

The woman tried to decline the gift, but Ms. Stephine insisted. Ms. Stephine said something very profound that I will never forget: “When I did not have anything, someone blessed me with this coat. Now I am choosing to be a blessing to you. God has blessed me with many coats! And I know that he will bless me with many more!”

The woman took the coat and thanked Ms. Stephine for blessing her with a new coat! Acts of love and kindness like this one should not be seen few and far between. I challenge you to show an act of love or kindness to someone around you! Every day, we should be able to identify an act, whether it be one that we are directly involved in, or have witnessed. Don’t let Valentine’s Day be the only day you show love or kindness!

Project SERVE