DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton Children’s is asking community members to help sweeten Valentine’s Day for children by sending virtual Valentines to patients.
Karen Muller, child life manager at the hospital, said children often have a difficult time coping with being stuck in the hospital on festive occasions, and a little love from community members can uplift their spirits.
“Certainly when kids are in the hospital over the holidays, it’s always nice to be able to get something that might perk up their day,” she explained.
Muller said the Valentine’s Day program has been going on for years, but finding a safe way to spread love in the hospital without spreading germs is especially important this time around.
“With COVID, and not being able to do things in person, we figured out we can still do something that benefits our patients, just virtually.”
Beyond the stress of the pandemic, Muller said kids unable to spend time outside of the hospital on special days tend to feel left out and isolated from friends and family. Sending some virtual love, she said, can have more of an impact on those children’s mental health than community members realize.
“I think if they were in school, they would probably be exchanging Valentines or doing some type of celebration or something to that effect. And I think when you’re in the hospital, it’s great to know that people remember you and it doesn’t always have to be your family, but it could be members of the community. And so I think when they get a Valentine delivered to them, it just puts a smile on their face, and for the families also.”
Virtual Valentines are free to send and will be accepted through 10 p.m. Sunday. To send a virtual Valentine to a child at Dayton Children’s Hospital, click here.