Martha Randolph Carr Martha Randolph Carr, 2/12/2009 [Archive]

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day

By Martha Randolph Carr

Happy Valentine's Day America. It's time to get out the red paper, scissors and glitter glue to thank everyone who has put even a little gratitude into your heart. These are the people who spread the love every day of the year without expecting anything in return.

Thank you to the teachers who stay after school and help a struggling student figure out how to conjugate a verb. A big thank you to every grocery store clerk who makes a point of smiling at each customer and adds in a, 'have a nice day' and means it, whether they get a reply or not.

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone who holds the door, pulls out a seat, helps with a coat or offers to reach for the higher shelf. It was greatly appreciated and made the day just a little bit easier.

A big red paper heart decorated with a doily goes to every volunteer in the soup kitchens that are overflowing across America with new faces. We want to thank each of them for deciding to help someone else rather than sit at home and lament about their own financial straits.

Let's also include on our Valentine list everyone who takes the time out of their week to visit someone who is confined to their home and brings a little reminder that they have not been forgotten. To those who kept delivering meals to the hungry even when gas rose above three dollars a gallon, Happy Valentine's Day.

A valentine shout out also goes to every tired body who make a point of greeting friends and family with a smile and a hug at the end of a long day instead of a complaint. Happy Valentine's Day to all of the parents who drive their children to extracurricular activities, or read three books at night instead of one, or count to ten as their teenager slams the bedroom door yet again.

This day is also a celebration of all of those parents who are spending the day tending to a child with special needs or a serious illness or struggling mightily with an addiction. Thank you for opening your heart and believing in the possibilities even when those around you may have lost hope. A big red sticker belongs to you because your example makes it easier for the next parent to take a chance and believe as well.

A very special Valentine goes to everyone serving overseas on behalf of our country. We appreciate that your sacrifice away from your loved ones keeps the ideals of freedom and democracy possible for everyone.

Whether or not we ever see the results of all of those gestures, big and small, they add up and create a better world for all of us. So, take this day as a reminder to share your gratitude with everyone. Pass out small valentine cards to your neighbors, friends, family and coworkers. Hand out red lollipops to everyone you greet and look for ways to be of service even if it's just to let someone ahead of you in the line and even if you can only muster the energy to do it for one day.

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone who has taken up the 2009 America Challenge with me and is raising funds for the charities within their communities. You're setting a great example of what can be accomplished when we come together. If you'd like to get involved email me at:

Let's remind ourselves that Valentine's Day isn't about whether or not someone remembered us with candy or flowers and instead let's make it about reaching out and remembering others. More adventures to follow.

The 2009 America Challenge is underway and you can get involved and help out your local community. Email Martha for more info. Martha Randolph Carr's latest book, A Place to Call Home, a memoir about the reemergence of U.S. orphanages is available wherever books are sold. If you'd like Martha to come and speak to your group visit: Martha's Big Adventure coming soon to World Talk Radio and Voice America. Email Martha at: or visit

© 2009 Martha Randolph Carr. Martha's column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info call Sales at (805) 969-2829 or email

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