For many, Valentine’s Day is an occasion to show love to those they care about – and the holiday is not complete without Valentine’s cards. But what about those who might be going without a Valentine this year? Fairfield Campus Ministry is working to send love to people by participating in the Cupid Crew.

Cupid Crew is an annual, nationwide initiative started by the AARP’s Wish of a Lifetime. The goal is to create and send Valentine’s cards to senior citizens across the country. Schools and other volunteers can participate by making Valentines and hosting events to encourage others to join in the effort. 

Fairfield University Campus Ministry is participating in Cupid Crew this year, as it has for the past two years. Campus Minister for Social Engagement Kathleen Byrnes states that the initiative has seen growth on campus over the years. “This is our third year joining in the project and it grows in popularity every year,” Byrnes said.

Participation in card-making for Cupid Crew was open to all students in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Campus Ministry housed the card-making in McGrath Commons, located in the lower level of Egan Chapel.

Students stopped by McGrath between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to midnight to decorate a card or two for local seniors. The event was advertised on Life@Fairfield, where students can also look for other service opportunities.

“CampMin has lots of projects where you can spend some time giving back, check out Life@Fairfield in the Service portal!” Byrnes said.

While this is Campus Ministry’s third year participating in Cupid Crew, Wish of a Lifetime has been hosting the national event for 11 years. An affiliate of the AARP, Wish of a Lifetime aims “to shift the way society views and values our oldest generations by fulfilling older adults’ dreams and sharing their stories to inspire those of all ages.”

Through Cupid Crew, Wish of a Lifetime helps older adults feel valued on a holiday when they may otherwise feel left out. They hope that receiving a Valentine in the mail will make a lonely senior feel loved and appreciated. 

The Cupid Crew will also do rose deliveries for Valentine’s Day, a facet of the program that they’ve brought back in person this year after several years without it. Volunteers deliver the roses, furthering the mission of bringing cheer to older people on the holiday. Byrnes highlights the need for this, considering the amount of isolated seniors in the United States.

“According to AARP, nearly 1 in 4 adults ages 65 or older are isolated,” Byrnes said. “This [is] over 50 million Americans who may not see or hear from anyone else on Valentine’s Day. We can’t let that happen!”

As a Jesuit university, it’s clear that Fairfield places an emphasis on service. Part of the University’s mission is to prepare students to lead with “a determination to serve and promote justice.” Taking part in Cupid Crew is just one of the many service opportunities Fairfield and Campus Ministry offers to students.

While awaiting next year’s Cupid Crew event, students can keep an eye out for other service opportunities and stay up to date on Campus Ministry. Service events like this happen throughout the school year.

Although Cupid Crew is relatively new here at Fairfield, it has had a big impact. Byrnes expresses the importance of small acts, such as making a Valentine for someone. “Raising awareness of how important acts of service are – no matter how small – and the impact we can all make in the community around us,” she said. “We are putting our mission of being men and women with and for others into action!”

About The Author

Junior | Assistant News Editor | Digital Journalism Major | Editing and Publishing Minor

Junior | Assistant News Editor | Digital Journalism Major | Editing and Publishing Minor

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