4-H groups show appreciation to community leaders with Valentine gifts

ASHEBORO — Modern America has turned Valentine’s Day into a commercial holiday with expensive jewelry, heart-shaped chocolates and reservations three months in advance. One group sought to bring back the childhood magic of Valentine’s Day with service to the community.

Randolph County 4-H held a Valentine’s Community Service Night on February 8. The intention was to return to the roots of the holiday, which has various legends related to its origin. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus. The stories surrounding these saints describe priests willing to perform marriages for soldiers who were forbidden to marry while in military service, helping Christians escape Roman prisons and generally showing love to others.

The 4-H-ers sought to rekindle the in-person fellowship of Valentine’s Day where students exchanged Valentine cards, selected candy for their friends and enjoyed Valentine’s Day parties.  For kids, Valentine’s Day wasn’t love letters and flowers but friendship and making everyone feel appreciated.

Randolph County 4-H hosted an in-person Valentine’s Community Service Night for youth aged 5-19 last week. This program took place on the evening of February 8 at the Randolph County Cooperative Extension office at 1003 South Fayetteville Street in Asheboro. Pizza was provided for all children and parents or guardians in attendance. The goal of this service night was to create Valentine’s Day cards for members of the community such as the Asheboro Fire Department, Asheboro Police Department, Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, Randolph County Maintenance Workers, County Commissioners and more. The 4-H youth filled gift bags with treats and unique cards for valued community members. For some of the larger organizations, the group packed baskets of goodies adorned with kind messages and well wishes for those involved.

The Valentine’s Day goodies were distributed to the recipients this week. The goal was to create an atmosphere of joy and celebration for the 4-H participants and those who serve and protect Randolph County in varying ways every day.

McKenna Gardner is a 4-H Program Assistant with the N.C. State Cooperative Extension Service.

By McKenna Gardener