Sarah Fracek

How we turned valentine craft time into a Milwaukee Love Bomb

By Sarah Fracek on March 7, 2014

My office is so pink it would make a flamingo vomit. There are so many girly touches, flowers and Audrey Hepburn quotes, you’d think it belonged to a doe-eyed 16-year-old.

So, naturally, I’m the office champion for love. I’m pretty much the last person you want to be around come Valentine’s Day, but it came in handy this year.

Our Core Gives committee was looking for a fun way to kick off our volunteer initiatives for 2014 – a way to give everyone in the company a taste of that great feeling you get when you’re giving back and making a difference. What better way to do so than to spread a little love on this city that had been so miserably stuck in the middle of never-ending sub-zero temperatures and salt-stained pant hems?

Let’s give each other something to smile about. Even for just a minute.

Let’s make valentines, they said. Let’s make lots and lots of valentines and donate them to Children’s Hospital.

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It was an opportunity for our team to get crafty, have some fun and aim at bringing some smiles and love to children who surely could benefit from a little shared love and goodwill.

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A couple days before Valentine’s Day, one of our art directors, Jenn Cooley, and I gathered more than 100 lovingly hand-crafted and illustrated valentines and dropped them off at Children’s Hospital so they could be shared.

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Stephanie Hungerford, healthcare marketing strategist at Core Creative, spent many years at Children’s Hospital managing public relations and marketing programs before joining our team. She connected us with Eileen Clark, the hospital’s family services manager, to be sure we met their needs and they’d be able to distribute the valentines.

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Sure, our team had a lot of fun coming together for arts and crafts time at the end of the day during the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, but the true reward was sharing them with people who’ll feel the warmth … and maybe even remember it in the future.

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The kindness of strangers can have a great impact. And it doesn’t happen all that often. So we got to thinking … what if we kept going? What if we made enough valentines to drop a “love bomb” on Milwaukee?

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Valentine’s Day was cold. Again. But we trundled up a pack of people from Core and hit the 10-degree streets of Milwaukee’s Third Ward, where we knew there’d be a lot of cars and people milling about.

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We stamped the back of each of the valentines …

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… and tucked them into the windshields of almost 100 cars in the Third Ward.

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We even had the chance to share some love with some of Milwaukee’s finest walking their beat.

If you happened through the Third Ward on Valentine’s Day, we hope you felt the love. We got to see some tweets and Instagram posts like these:

 

 

Was it worth it? Absolutely.

In the words of my dear Audrey, “They say love is the best investment. The more you give, the more you get in return.”