A group of Salt Lake Community College students spent an afternoon making Valentine’s Day cards and messages for veterans for a service project in their COMM 1010 class.
Students vote for a service project after presenting their suggestions. English major David Hockett suggested the valentines for veterans idea, which was motivated by a personal connection to the military.
“Both my grandfather and father served in the military, so I really wanted to do something to show how much veterans are supported,” Hockett said.
Adjunct professor Norman Zurn, who teaches the class, said acts of service allow students to see the value in communicating with the community around them.
“Even though this is an assignment, the students have really seen how doing good can affect how they interact with their community,” he said.
After the class decided to move forward with Hockett’s idea, Zurn worked with other students to make preparations and organize the event.
Lee Galicia Azamar, a general studies major, said even simple gestures like a valentine card could be valuable for service members.
“Emotional help is just as valuable as physical [help],” Azamar said.
One of Hockett’s classmates, Ben Sadler, used skills he developed as a graphic design major to make template cards that students could write their own personalized messages in.
Amy Hunter, a photographer, took photos and video of the event that could be shared with other SLCC faculty and students.
“The emotional support is really helpful, so it’s awesome to reach as many veterans as we can,” Hockett said of the students’ effort.
Students had the choice of creating valentines for specific service members they knew or creating generic valentines to be shared through justserve.org. Students were encouraged to complete at least five valentines each, with no limit on how many.
Hockett wanted to emphasize that while the class as a whole could create a lot of valentines, individual efforts are still valued.
“Anyone can do this, they just have to go to justserve.org and they can get started,” he said. “You can even do it remotely so you don’t have to attend an event like this.”
Zurn plans to facilitate other service projects for his students in the future.
“Next time, I think it would be good to be focusing on those suffering from mental health issues,” he said.