Tuesday, February 15, 2022
People from across the world brought smiles to patients and families who spent Valentine’s Day at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. This year more than 25,000 valentines arrived from 50 states and 30 countries through the annual Valentine’s Day e-card campaign.
“It warms my heart,” said Liz Smith, manager of Annual Giving at Cincinnati Children’s. “Each card is by someone who took the time to think about our patients and families and send them a message to brighten their day."
The campaign began in 2014 as a way for folks to send well-wishes electronically to reduce the spread of infection. As a result of the overwhelming support, employees blanketed the hospital and satellite locations with printed valentines. They were also featured digitally on screens throughout the hospital.
Mom Jessica Discepoli was comforted by the cards for her baby son, Luca. Since he was born 2 months ago, Luca has been in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) due to complications from a genetic condition.
“It’s been really important to us to be able to celebrate the holiday and show Luca what it’s like, so we’ve been hanging the valentines on the wall in his room,” Discepoli said. “The community support brings so much happiness and joy to us at a time that’s rather difficult.”
Cincinnati Children’s design partner Kolar assisted in creating new designs (including games on the back), and RPI Graphic Data Solutions donated printing. Donations from the Valentine’s Day e-card campaign over the last two years have been matched by Kolar, helping pay for a new lounge area in the Critical Care Building’s NICU. The company has pledged five years.
"Giving back to our community is vital to our company's purpose,” said Kelly Kolar, president and founder of Kolar. “We want to spread empathy, love, and giving through this annual campaign, and are honored to work with our long-term partner Cincinnati Children's to provide hope for patients this Valentine's Day."
Local artists Lori Seibert and Matt Grote designed this year’s Valentine’s Day cards, which were mainly animal themes in bright colors.
“One of the most gratifying experiences in my career has been creating art for Cincinnati Children’s,” Seibert said. “If my work as an artist can bring a spark of joy to the patients, families and staff, I am happy!”
“I'm thrilled to be able to participate in this project for Cincinnati Children's,” Grote said. “I am blown away by the great work that they do there and can't be more excited to be able to contribute.”