Photo by Clare Bloomfield

This Valentine’s Day, forget the wining and dining. Do something that matters.

Like many people, I’ve had good Valentine’s Days and well, not so good.

The not-so-good dates back to middle school, when I, like many of my classmates, anxiously awaited one of those pink-dyed carnations from what I hoped would be a secret admirer. Much to my dismay, the carnation never came, and for years, it left me feeling downright uneasy about the 14th of February.

I later came to realize that Valentine’s Day is about much more than getting flowers or conversation hearts that say “Hot Stuff” or “Be Mine.” I love it that there’s a day in our busy lives when we officially celebrate love. I’m not just talking romantic love, like Hallmark would have us believe, but the real-deal, universal stuff-of-life that makes up who we really are. Behind all our roles and personalities and professionalism, each of us, at essence, is a living, loving being. Sure, on the other 364 days of the year we might try to fake it, but on this one day, the world agrees: Love is where it’s at. Call it spirit, call it sweetness — whatever you want to call it, we’ve all got it. It’s just a matter of what we do with it.

There are plenty of ways to do good and feel good this Valentine’s Day. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. Will You Be My…Volunteer? There’s no shortage of ways you can help. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, animal shelter, or favorite nonprofit, or offer to tutor a child in reading or math. You can find loads of opportunities on VolunteerMatch, or check out DoSomething, which helps younger folks rock the causes they care about.

2.  Put the “Fun” in Fundraising. If you’re taking that special someone out for a pricey dinner, why not have your bill go to a good cause? Check your newspaper or online city pages for Valentine-themed fundraisers that support local nonprofits. Or better yet, throw your own happy hour or party and donate the proceeds to charity.

3. Give a Little Bit. Sometimes a little helps a lot. Looking to put your money where your mouth is? Donate a dollar a day to a cause that calls to you through Philanthroper. Or support students and classrooms in need in your hometown through DonorsChoose.

4. Send Love Letters. Not just to your sweetheart, but to people and organizations that are doing good things for the world. Tell them why you respect and appreciate their work, and that they really do make a difference. If you’re feeling extra romantic, include a donation.

5. Reach Out to Those in Need. Deliver homemade Valentine’s cards or heart-shaped cookies to the sick, the elderly, the homeless — and their caregivers. Call a local children’s hospital, nursing home, domestic violence or homeless shelter and ask how you can donate an hour or two of your time.

6. Give Gifts That Give. There are dozens of charitable shopping sites and online nonprofit stores selling gifts for a good cause. Look for red Motorola phones, Gap T-shirts and iPods from Apple to support the (Red) Campaign, or find cause-specific gifts to alleviate hunger, breast cancer, deforestation and more at Greater Good. Can’t find the perfect gift for your special someone? Give a Good Card through Network for Good.

7. Remember Those Who Serve You. Think of all those people who make your life easier and more convenient — every single day. Give a thank-you card to the bus driver or the barista who serves you your latte. Personally thank the janitor who keeps your office or campus clean, or the people who pick up your trash. Leave your waiter an extra tip, and smile–big–at the gas station attendant.

8. Clean Your Closets. Get a head start on spring-cleaning and donate clothes, toys, furniture, household items, and old computers to nonprofits accepting them. Check your local Big Brothers Big Sisters, Salvation Army, or Goodwill Industries.

9. Love Your Mother (Earth). Take the trash challenge: For one day, see if you can generate zero trash. Zip, nada, nothing. No cardboard boxes, no disposable containers, no bottled water. Think of what you can reduce and re-use, and call your county or city waste management to find out about local compost programs.

10. Get Your Heart Pumping. Charity walks and runs raise money for a good cause and get you moving in the great outdoors. Bring the family or your co-workers along to make it a team event. To find an event, check your local American Heart Association or a local runners’ club, such as Road Runners Club.

11. Adopt a Pet for a Day. Offer to take care of a pet for an ill or homebound neighbor. Volunteer at your local animal shelter to take the dogs for a walk. Or adopt an endangered species through the World Wildlife Fund, and you’ll get a lovable stuffed pet and adoption certificate.

12. Be a Fair-Trade Valentine. Buy certified fair-trade chocolate from companies that make sure small-scale farmers receive higher and more stable prices for their cocoa. Try Theo, Equal Exchange, or my new favorite: Alter-Ego Fair Trade (love their Dark Quinoa Chocolate – talk about a superfood!).

13. Say it With Organic Flowers. Buy fresh organic blooms from your local farmer’s market, or send a bunch from Organic Bouquet, which donates 10 percent to charities like CARE, the Global Fund for Women, and the American Red Cross.

14. Be Kind While You Dine. Taking your sweetie for a steak dinner this V-Day? Choose a restaurant that sources its meat from sustainable, humanely treated and harvested animals & farms. Visit Sustainable Table’s Eat Well Guide to find vendors that offer farms and stores that sell sustainably raised meat. For seafood lovers, download the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app for your smart phone.

15.Continue to Support Disaster Relief. We don’t hear much about Haiti or the Gulf Coast on the news these days, but these disasters are in need of much support. Here are a few ideas: Adopt a Brown Pelican through the International Bird Rescue Research Center, which picks up oiled birds, cleans and rehabilitates them. Or offer direct support to those facing financial devastation due to the Gulf Coast spill by donating at Protect Your Coastline. For Haiti and other world disasters, consider supporting an organization like Doctors Without Borders, which sends medical and non-medical aid workers to countries whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe.

16. Say “I Do” to Charitable Weddings. Tying the knot this year? Consider creating a charitable gift registry through the I Do Foundation and its many retail and nonprofit partners.

and a bonus….

17. Celebrate with Small Acts of Kindness. Valentine’s Day isn’t the only holiday this week: February 14-20th is Random Acts of Kindness Week. What can you do? Pay for a coffee, lunch, or a toll for the person behind you in line. Tape the exact change for a soda to a vending machine. Send cards with joyful messages to strangers. Collect canned goods for a food bank. Shovel a neighbor’s driveway, or babysit a friend’s child for free. Visit Acts of Kindness for hundreds of other ideas.

Question: Do you have a charitable idea for Valentine’s Day? Something you’re planning to do or give? Let’s hear about it! Send me a comment below.

(Note: I originally posted article for the Case Foundation. This is an updated version – enjoy! And Happy Valentine’s Day.)

Showing 242 comments
  • Rick Jones

    Nice blog, Elaine. I enjoy getting your posts and seeing a truly generous and gifted spirit making an impact. Keep up the good work!

    • Sharrie Williams

      Elaine you hit the mark with your Charitable Valentine’s Day gifts. I will pass it on for sure and will love following your blog. Congratulations from the bottom of my heart. I heart you!!!! Sharrie

    • Elaine

      Thanks Rick!

    • nisha360

      Hi Elaine

      My name is Nisha I came across your Valentine’s Day post and I just wanted to tell you about one of the ways I give without spending a dime I log onto and click on the ‘Give Free Food’ button and the advertisers of the site pay for one cup of rice which goes to the starving children in India.

      Yours Truly,

      • Elaine

        Thanks Nisha – great idea!

  • virginia tsai

    glad you posted the article here too. I actually did #4 and #5 this morning: sent a letter to my paralyzed friend. Keep me up with all the postings.

    • Bantu

      Wow, God bless you.

  • Mikalee Byerman

    Beautiful, green thoughts…for a red day!


  • I like the write a love letter one. Thanks for the idea – I think I’ll do that!

  • Yvonne

    What a beautiful post!

  • DawneeJo

    I prefer Un*Random Acts of Kindness. But a great Un*Random post with great links. Have a great Valentine’s Day. Thank you for the early V-Day blog post gift. 😉

  • Lakia Gordon

    I remember the carnations. I never got any though lol. Also, #16 is a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  • T.S. Redmond-Mize

    Seconded on that Alter Ego Dark Quinoa and well, pretty much everything else here.
    Donorschoose is SUCH a great thing and I absolutely cannot say enough about being able to make an impact on the kids that benefit from it.

    • Elaine

      I agree. Thanks T.S.!

  • apostateangelica

    This is a beautiful post. Thank you.

    I’m personally not a huge fan of the Hallmark-y aspect of Valentine’s Day, but these are some wonderful ideas to turn what has become a clichéd excuse for card companies to make more money into something really beautiful.

    They’re some fantastic ideas, and I’ll be sure to take note of them.

    • Elaine

      Thanks apostateanglelica – appreciate your comments!

  • FinallyFast

    I’ve always kind of secretly hated the 14th of Feb. But these are great ideas!

  • Becki Px

    Thank you for this great list that shows real love and causes.
    My boyfriend will be celebrating by donating blood!

    • Elaine

      Great idea Becki – thanks for including it.

  • dearexgirlfriend

    this is AWESOME. especially since im single so i wont be spending my money on a female!

  • YouGetWellSoon

    These are great ideas – and timely!

  • thankingofyou

    Hi, I love this post and wanted you to know that I’ve got #4 covered for everyone! At, the Web-based forum for posting and receiving messages of thanks for the people who’ve made a difference in our lives, we’re really urging people to thank the charities and “do-good” organizations who’ve impacted theirs. It not only affirms the great work they do and inspires its continuum–and they so deserve to hear it–but when posted in an independent public forum like ThankingOfYou, it also increases online visibility of their cause and of true-life testimonials that money can’t buy. This can be a valuable gift to those organizations, as these stories of gratitude can influence the decisions of prospective patrons or donors who are searching for criteria in a sea of options. And typically, the primary motivator of those who do such work is not lavish gifts. Often, it’s the sense that they’re making a difference in the lives of others. Why not give them what they really want 😉

    • Elaine

      Looks like great work, thankingof you. Thanks for sharing!

  • J Roycroft

    I like your idea, especially since it does not include the imperial federal government telling me I have to “give back” when I never took anything. Congrats on FP

  • Yannique Benitez

    This is a really great list, thanks for posting!

  • may delory

    Yup, gotta agree! Sent my donation last week to Queensland, Australia.

  • Brenda

    I love your suggestions. I too have done for others on Valentine’s Day, like clothes donations, sending cards to single friends and giving out candy. It’s a great day to show love. Focusing on others brings you joy.

  • Auburn Meadow Farm

    I was traumatized by those stupid carnations too – to make it worse, my best friend broke all school records for most received every single year. It wasn’t awkward or anything, lol.

    Anyway, awesome post. You’ve set me back on track…. I’d send you a carnation if I knew how, lol.

    • Elaine

      So sweet, Auburn! Thank you. I’ll consider your comment a carnation sent.

  • theveryhungrybookworm

    I really enjoyed your post and I think it is important for us to remember that Valentine’s Day can be about love in all forms. I even think that there is something really sweet about eating a Valentine’s Day dinner in (make it romantic and intimate), and taking the money that you would have spent on the dinner out to suppot your local food pantry.

    It’s a nice way of spreading the love 🙂

    • Elaine

      What a great idea! Thanks for sharing it.

  • My Camera, My Friend

    Great way to look at love and Valentine’s day.

  • anonnickus

    I can do at least nine of those things without feeling pressured. Good list. I like them every one.

  • Me

    This is the greatest Valentine’s blog post in the world!!! I absolutely love it!!!

    Brilliant Ms. and I shall keep this post in my heart for always… Thanks ~

    • Elaine

      Thank you!! I appreciate you saying so!

  • notesfromrumbleycottage

    These are all great ideas. I love the one about taping exact change to a pop machine.

  • zainylainy

    These are great ideas! I will be sure to spread random acts of kindness next week!

  • nataliasepulveda

    Thank you I really enjoyed reading this. I got many ideas for V-day!

  • Dave

    Nice to find a good list of things to do on valentine’s day which won’t cost a fortune. Of all the holiday celebrations this is surely the one which is most commercialised – these days it seems to all be about buying naff cards and chocolates rather than the joy of loving and giving

  • lifelovelaughs

    Great post! You bring up some excellent ideas that can get the entire family involved! I think it’s best when everyone at home is helping out, not just one or two people! We should be taught at an early age to give back so that it becomes a lifelong passion. Keep up the good work!

    • Elaine

      So true, lifelovelaughs. There are some great ideas out there for getting kids giving at an early age. Stay tuned for a future post on that!

  • Magnolia

    Hey Elaine, Great great post! I have been working on a small article about giving back for Valentines day, but especially to those who do not expect anything. I really like your list and will do one of them.

    • Elaine

      Thanks Magnolia! I appreciate you commenting.

  • chicago photographers

    All of these are great ideas.. Now to just find a valentine!

  • poetsplace

    Wonderful post. Great ideas. I’m saving this one.

    • Elaine

      Thanks poetsplace – I appreciate you sharing.

  • Hayidan's Intuition

    aww these are great ideas. i’m going to try volunteering.

  • Save Our Forests

    this post was really good, can’t wait to read future posts!

    • Elaine

      Thanks Save our Forests – I appreciate you saying so, and stay tuned for more posts to come.

  • Generation 26

    It was kind of funny reading about waiting for a carnation that never came cause thats what happened today lol
    I liked this blog though 🙂 I honestly never thought about volunteering on V-Day…maybe I’ll go hug people:)

  • CollectiveDisclosure

    What a great idea! It’s nice to focus on others. Congrats on being FP, too!

  • maggiefelisberto

    #11 Be a Fair Trade Valentine. Thank you for including this in your list. So few people know about the Fair Trade movement, and it’s one of my passions.

    I love all of your suggestions. Maybe I won’t spend my Valentine’s Day with Jane Austen and vanilla ice cream after all…

    • Elaine

      Yes – I agree, Maggie, I think there are too few people who will dish out the extra dollar for Fair Trade because they aren’t aware of the issues. Thanks for commenting. Would love to hear more about your work/interest in that movement.

  • davidequalateral

    Very diggable, I especially like #5. But how dare you knock romantic love as something better left to the realm of Hallmark.

    • Elaine

      I’m a romantic just as much as the next person – really! I just think a lot of people dread Valentine’s day for its commercialism and cliche. Hallmark is the poster child for that. 🙂

  • harkheindzel

    I love your post. And the name of the tips is really catchy. Great job

  • cateyeimages

    🙂 I really enjoyed reading this.
    I also went through my closet and found some clothes to donate!
    Congratulations on really capturing the true essence of Valentine’s Day!

  • Jen

    Your #2 inspired me to fundraise – I’m thinking of throwing a ‘cooking class’ for some friends, so their ‘fee’ will actually be a donation. It will be a fun time together and a good cause… now I just have to figure out what cause I want to support! I might partner with some of my friends who run marathons for cancer 🙂

    • Elaine

      I love this idea! As a foodie and chef myself, I may try this one too! Great way to gather people for a good cause (and good eats). Thanks for sharing, Jen.

  • whenquiet

    At Christmas time, I give wine and chocolate to the post office attendants and garbage collectors in our village. In the summer time, I leave apples, figs and mirabella fruit on an outside table for free at our shop in Basel…….I will perform this Spring for a fund-raiser for Justice for Walid(an organization focused on the retrial for the murder of Walid Essolh). Walid was a young Moroccan man who resided in Kembs, France.

  • christinadugan

    I think the idea of adopting a pet for the day is a winner! These ideas are great and I am going to share them!

  • Ellie King

    This is brilliant! I was going to write my own blog about Valentine’s not just being about romance, but you totally beat me to it! 😀 Love it, well done 🙂

    • Elaine

      Thanks Ellie!

  • faithandstagefright

    Loved this! I think we all need to be more service-minded. Love isn’t just a fairy-tale feeling, it’s something we can tangibly convey to our neighbors and communities through service. Thanks for the “love-ly” ideas!

  • SAS Fiction Girl

    I like your spin on Valentine’s Day. 🙂

  • Walking through the non-world

    In my view, Valentine’s day is just a stupid, cliché-filled consumerist day. This post, though, changes the meaning of it all. It’is the only intelligent thing I’ve ever read on the subject 😉 Thanks.

    • Elaine

      Wow – thank you!! I appreciate your kind words, Walking through the non-world.

  • barefoot_med_student

    Awesome 🙂 I’ll be volunteering at a community clinic in the evening after uni. Although when I first decided that I didn’t actually know it was Valentine’s Day.
    Well done on making Freshly Pressed 🙂

  • pafmurray

    Very nice blog!

    Unfortunately I come from the worst place for charitable giving, volunteerism and even blood contributions in Canada (and only W.VA and one of the Dakotas are worse for giving)

    Please feel free to check out my blog and laugh as I embarrass Montreal’s politicians into doing what is in the best interest of humanity.

  • pprmntmocha

    I’m jealous! I love your blog, because it is so motivational!

  • Full Figure Monologues

    This article was absolutely wonderful. Thank you

  • louids

    great post! i couldn’t agree more, valentine’s is more than just romance, its about love.
    I actually plan to get a bunch of flowers to hand out to anyone that passes by.

    • Elaine

      Great idea, louids ! I would love to hear how that goes. We so seldom expect random acts of kindness and generosity from others these days. It would be great to somehow record the strange or delighted gifts you get from your flower recipients!

  • Genevieve

    wow, with altruism being its own deity in this culture, isn’t there one damn day a year we can think only of the one who makes us happiest on earth?

    • Elaine

      Yes – most definitely, Genevieve! It’s all about where you’re at. I agree – sometimes the most charitable we can be is to give to ourselves and those we love. It’s the number one restorative thing we can do.

      I’d love to hear more on your take on altruism being its own deity. Do you think it’s that prevalent a value in our culture? I know there IS something to be said for over-giving and hitting do-gooder fatigue. I’m curious to hear different opinions on this.

  • The Compulsive Writer

    Last year I made some V-day cookies and put them on my neighbor’s door. She is an older lady and appears to be lonely so I thought it would cheer her up. I think it did.

    • Elaine

      Nice ! Sounds like it may have cheered you as well. That’s what I love about giving – it’s as much (if not more) for the giver as it is the receiver.

  • ash

    wuah.. lovely.
    thank you for the inspirations 🙂

  • kimchee3011

    Thanks Elaine. I’ve already done a few from your list.

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours.

  • Jim

    Looks like it was already suggested, but I have to second donating blood! I think it would make a great date idea, especially because you’d be able to share something sweet afterward.

  • dadenalxio

    “Epic, amazing, creative, inspiring” came to mind after I read this.


  • ahitagni

    Very nice post. Enjoyed reading it. 🙂

  • 0525diana

    Every valentines that comes every year ends up in disaster maybe instead of trying to hard to make it perfect, I should leave alone and take as a normal day…. I mean its only moday like any normal day.

  • Nabeel's Cosmos

    Ahh love letters, I’ve always chosen writing letters than buying cards.


    ^ ^ lovely.

  • laoib

    ay tak tau itu

  • milanno


  • Adrian Pantonial

    These are great suggestions Elaine. Thank you for sharing them with us. We can do them not only on Valentine’s Day but all year round.

    Question: How did you make the “About Elaine” show under this post? Is there a setting that can be changed to have it done or is it custom-made with this WordPress theme? I’m new in WordPress and will appreciate if you can answer this.

    Keep spreading the love!


  • kindkerry80

    This is a very thoughtful post, well done Elaine!

  • vanimator

    Wonderful Post !!
    Thanks for the share.


  • leadinglight

    Sounds just like the sort of thing I would do. I enjoyed the love letter idea. Would the old people be able to eat cookies? Teeth are not as strong when you are older… Love the vending machine change tip 🙂

  • Cherszy

    Nice post! Loved your tips for Valentine’s Day! Here’s one more for me to add: be aware of the social issues faced by the world today and try to be the voice of people who have been robbed of their own, such as victims of human trafficking, bullying, and wars. Share the love! 🙂

  • Janet

    Great ideas to refocu the day back towards it’s true meaning.

  • shaokhanazs

    well its inspired me, nice post 🙂

  • FAFE

    Hello Dear Writer, tht was nice reading the blog thanks for sharing wit us a broader meaning,purpose and need to celebrate valentine’s day…ofcourse we can live our lyf’s way we like way we want for our own happiness but the real lyf is one when lived for others.Making happy only one special person in ur lyf on v’day if we instead embrace the world around us wit tht special sumone is a beautiful version.

  • hopefultransitions

    This is exactly what I’d bet St. Valentine would have wanted us to do! This holiday is not about romance but the true love of selfless service. Is there anyone alone in a nursing home that you know of? Visit them this weekend!

  • angelsbyjulia

    Great suggestions and I have been trying to promote the American Heart Association be donating a portion of the proceed of my Heart month angel. If everyone would do something to help others or a favorite charity we can make this world a better place.

  • Sasha

    Elaine, this is such a wonderful post.

    I’m hoping to turn Valentine’s Day into Generosity Day….would love your support with a post on Monday!

    Here are the details:


  • michaelbross

    Thanks Elaine! The experiences make for much better memories.

  • Ashley Higashi

    I love this so much I decided to refer to it in my own blog. This is really quite beautiful. My husband says “Holidays are an opportunity for us to celebrate collectively and simultaneously things we should be celebrating individually and continually.” and I really think this blog shows us an alternative to uniquely make this holiday about others.

  • beckafly

    The carnation that never came, oh middle school. As an adult like you, I’ve come to realize its about not romantic love, but love. I’m actually spending valentines day with a few friends volunteering at a thermal shelter in the evening. It’s about giving love-friends, family and strangers, not just that special someone.

  • Pilar

    gorgeous post, great ideas, best wishes for a lovely Valentine, and love all year to everything and love and tolerance to everybody

  • Ted

    Great article, babe. I can take a hint!

  • Felice

    I get so excited about the impact of true expressions of appreciation–for both recipients and givers! Your post does an excellent job of inspiring others to consider the power of their words AND use them in a way to truly encourage love this Valentine’s Day. I’ve been collecting (and sharing) the grateful reflections of my neighbors in love letter form and will be adding your ideas as another prompt for reflection!

  • plans chair

    These are great idea . nice post , thanks.

  • Diana

    Loved this!

  • Anne

    Oh, Elaine, I love this! You are such an excellent writer and have such a heart for others. Keep up this great work and congrats on having WP choose you as one of the best bloggers! Love you on Valentine’s Day and every day!

  • lovegalliani

    i don’t have lover right now, but i think valentine’s day is for people should remember who they really love, and who give us love…..

  • ninetteowilson

    It’s good to see that others can also seen that too much emphasis is put on spending on material items to prove that you love someone on just one day of the year. It’s nonsensical.

    Nicely written

    • Elaine

      Thank you!

  • eB

    I really enjoyed this and am linking it on my blog.

    • Elaine

      Thank you so much!

  • Radu

    Nice post! You have lovely ideas about this day, call “Valentine`s day”. In my opinion, we mustn`t love or show our love for our boyfriend/girlfriend just for a day, we can be a romantic person each day; like in Christmas, we shouldn`t be a kind person just for a day, we can show patience and love on other 364 days. I do not read all the posts on your blog, but perhaps I will do in the near future. Good luck in your new posts and have a nice “Valentine`s day” with your boyfriend, or with your family, friends.

    • Elaine

      True .. would be wonderful if we celebrated love every day of the year!

  • Ali

    Thanks for the Wondorful Post Lady.

    Appericiate that

  • Gloriadelia

    Lovely perspective on the holiday. Thanks. My daughter says she hates Valentine’s Day and I posted you on her facebook page. 🙂

    • Elaine

      Wow! Thank you. Hope your daughter comes to like Valentine’s Day. If not this time around, maybe someday… 🙂

  • b

    LOVE146 and Legacy of Hope International

    Great sites for sharing true love!

  • softballgirl78

    These are all really good ideas. Thanks for sharing them!

    • Elaine

      Thanks for your kind words!

  • Nicole

    This was great! Thanks!

  • bonniekathryn0530

    Very interesting ideas to do on one of my favorite days of the year. I love when people use creativity!

  • conscientiousness

    I like the random acts of kindness. Have you heard of Secret Agent L? I really like her approach and I have left little surprises around for anonymous people before. I think this V day I will deliver flower stems and hearts to the seniors in the assisted living by my house. Thanks for you post. It is really inspiring!

  • sarahnsh

    This is a great idea, I personally am thinking maybe I’ll get some nice little somethings for my co-workers for Valentine’s Day, we’ll see. It definitely is a celebration of love and good feelings, why not share the love?

  • miss L

    LOVE this post……
    clap clap clap….two thumbs up!!!!
    this post is something that REALLY really matters……
    folks…spread this charitable ways…..thanks for sharing “”””

    • Elaine

      Thank You for your kind words…

  • pal bha

    Beautiful post, keep it up.

    best regard
    pal bha

    • Elaine

      Thank you pal bha…I appreciate your comment!

  • chris

    this is great me and my girl are going to help out with a childrens charity going to be good

  • Nandini

    Wonderful post. Really encouraging. Sharing it on my blog 🙂

    Thank you!

  • thepixtakers

    nice ideas 🙂

  • rgu123

    These are all really good ideas. Thanks for sharing them!

  • english courses egypt

    really great thoughts and new ideas

  • thenewandimprovedhhh

    these are some pretty great ideas for [quite possibly] one of the worst/most pointless “holidays” known to mankind. a puppy sounds like a great Valentine, but definitely for more than just a day haha.

  • Suhasini

    Beautiful post! Very creative ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  • coolbeansncrispybacon

    Hey, I really loved reading this, Valentines day really is a time for giving 🙂

  • shahdhamouri

    This really made me in a good mood, i just went through a hard time. i decided to make small heart shaped cards and leave them on the disks of students tomorrow, this really should be kindness week

    • Elaine

      Sorry you are going through a hard time – and glad to hear this cheered you! Thanks for your comments.

  • enterball
  • Wordywoman

    Great ideas to increase awareness for global humanity. Thanks for sharing!

  • dizzyalchemist

    thank you, i have found this through fate and will spread the message in my own way, well done 🙂

    • Elaine

      Thank you! I appreciate your kind words.

  • snapcarolina

    Beautiful! Thanks for this, its on my list. xx

  • James Ellis

    In this day and age it’s a great idea.

  • caracato

    Thanks for all the practical suggestions, those are some great ideas. Reminds me of an event my church used to run at Christmas time, where you could buy gifts for others that were charitable contributions you made on their behalf. E.g., you could buy an hour of reading to a blind person, or medications for needy children, or a goat for a family in Africa. The money you spent went to those specific purposes, and you gave a card to your gift recipient telling them what the money went to.

  • madmothermusings

    I love this idea! You are right, we have so many marketing ideas lobbed at us, that valentines day is about romantic love, I love that you remind us it can be about any selfless love! Great post!

  • Felicia

    Got my mind off of my own problems and made me feel like I could do something good for others…awesome. I still wish I had gotten something romantic and special from someone my heart desires, though, today. Which i know I never will…but this article is so much more important than any one person’s vanity , I guess? Who knows?

  • iceyjoke

    I admire your thoughts, although the misfits of society are honest we must let them know that they are not alone in this world. We must celebrate life everyday and if we can help someone with something…Just do it. But the words are big and we like “socialize” from now on we put ourself in a good mood doing this without even try to remember what was the feeling when you read it first , that’s why we are optimist’s maybe one day we can do better. I advice you all to even to try to understand the meaning of Neuro-Linguistic programming. This discipline will light up your mind and hope to a good future for all of us, you can start NLP with my idol Nicholas Boothman, master practitioner of NLP, google it it’s a good start. Once again i wanted to thank you Elaine for sharing with us, and i apologize if i say something wrong, and excuse my English. Feel free to contact me anytime you want all of you. Have a nice day and enjoy your Valentine.

  • Idea Studio

    Fantastic article! Nice view of life!
    Thank you for showing me an other aspect of this day!

  • chuckrussell1

    Enjoyed your post! Saw it on Freshly Pressed…Congrats! That’s a big deal. Good Luck!

    • Elaine

      Thanks Chuck – I appreciate your commenting!

  • athousandfibers

    Nice post. I’d like to point out two things of dubious importance:

    1)’An estimated 1 billion St Valentine’s Day cards will be sent worldwide this year, making it the second most card-heavy celebration after Christmas’ (Telegraph, UK). For me, promoting ethical card sales seems by far the easiest and most effective way to inject some philanthropy into Valentines Day. There does seem to be far less linkage between the festival and charity-shop card-selling than there does at Christmas.

    2) Did you know that the festival is over 1500 years old and used to be celebrated by whipping? Perhaps some whipping could be re-introduced? Maybe of bankers? Maybe over 1500 of them? After all, festivals are all about keeping traditions alive. Just a thought…

  • Vivian

    Hi there!!
    this is awsome!
    these are such good ideas for Valentines Day!
    you have make a material consumistic Day in a really Day of friendship and love!

  • kcinnamon
  • Lok

    This is an absolutely lovely way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

    I try to challenge myself to view every day as Valentine’s Day because it is important to share love to those you love.

    ~ Smile Always, L.

  • Shivya

    Great article! I’m sharing it on Twitter and hoping everyone will pick atleast 1 of the ways. Happy Valentine’s Day btw. You’ve done your share of good 🙂

    • Elaine

      Thank you – I appreciate you sharing it Shivya!

  • simran44

    I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have bookmarked you to check out new stuff you post.

  • littlematryoshka

    I love your ideas for Valentines Day!
    Normally, I don’t like the holiday because I think it is too commercialized and influences people to spend their money unwisely. Everyone should give gifts like that ones you mentioned because they spread love and kindness to people or animals in need. Money used to help a good cause is never a bad way to use your money.

  • chocolatespacemonkey

    I like what you’re doing very very much. Keep it up.


    HAPPY V-DAY 2 Y’ALL…: P…<3…~~~

  • Hellen Mar

    Good tips – thanks for sharing!

  • PlanMill

    Good job with your blog; we have reposted this for our readers in Finland!

    • Elaine

      Wow – thanks!!!

  • roylogy

    so moved

  • marigonas

    This is great!!

  • countoncross

    Great post….very good ideas! -Thank you

  • adefunmi

    This is a really nice work, or nice blog. It’s really inspiring. Keep up the good work.

  • St. Joseph's Indian School

    What a great post Elaine!! Please visit our website to learn how you can help our nonprofit, help Lakota (Sioux) children in need on this special holiday: St. Joseph’s Indian School (

  • dennisfinocchiaro

    Loved this. I am saddened by how much this has become a holiday focused on gifts and cards and giving more money to the flower and card industries. Great post!

  • ElenaSC

    Happy Valentine’s Day everybody! Let’s commit today to love more often!

  • eric

    wow! cool post! 😀

  • Sarah Peace

    This is great and well written Elaine, there is more to Valentine’s day than the commercialism.

  • Robert Rosenthal

    Robert here from VolunteerMatch – Thanks so much for sharing the love about what we do to help people find a great place to volunteer. Great ideas all around 🙂

    Also, for readers who are inspired by video, here’s a great PSA one of our team members put together last week on personal passion, making a difference and volunteering — apologies to!

    Robert (Twitter: @volmatch)

    • Elaine

      Thanks and love the video, Robert!

  • Photos gallery

    Great ideas, thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Joscelin

    Hi, Great post! Another idea: when you order flowers or V.Day gifts through, Causes will donate $10 to the non-profit of your choosing. This is good through tomorrow too. A great way to give back via a purchase you would have made anyway.

    • Elaine

      thanks for the tip Joscelin – great idea!

  • site kurma

    I love too much your ideas , great post.

  • Flowers

    great site very cool and informative.

  • babymom

    Thank you for this! Beautiful post!


  • Patrick

    Thank you Elaine. I’ve fowarded your inspiring words to others and in return they have given back. If you have time please take a look at my fundraising blog

  • Run Like REL

    Reblogged this on Run Like REL and commented:
    Love these ideas!

  • Elaine

    THANK YOU for promoting this, Few Nuts. 🙂

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