Close to two dozen adults and small children gathered at Napa Methodist on Feb. 14 to decorate and fill Valentine’s Day treat bags for distribution to the homeless.
“People who find themselves homeless can be fairly confident they will find food in our city,” explained Liz Marks, event organizer. “But how many of them expect a Valentine treat?”
Marks explained that Napa UMC wanted their homeless neighbors to know they were not forgotten on this celebration of love.
It took less than an hour for 50 bags to be decorated and filled with a paper Valentine from Napa Methodist and an assortment of traditional Valentine candy. When the bags were completed, the children and adults strolled the neighborhood to hand out bags to the homeless close by.
“The children really enjoyed this part,” said Marks. “The looks on their faces were joyful when they handed someone a treat bag.”
Then the volunteers got in cars and drove to the South Napa County Shelter, where the remaining bags were given out and the children heard a talk about the services homeless people can take advantage of at the shelter. It was observed that the children were just as joyful at the shelter as they had been at the church.
This event drew an entire family who appreciated the opportunity to be of service, and a single woman who—based on her positive volunteering experience—said she planned to check out the Sunday services. One mother, a church member, was touched by the bag her son created and snapped a picture to show his father; among other words and decorations the boy has written, “You are loved.”