At Mott, the spirit of Valentine’s Day is in the cards

February 14, 2017  //  FOUND IN: News,

Social media users from around the globe are giving Michigan Medicine’s Little Victors a Valentine’s Day filled with love.

This past week, more than 95,000 Facebook users “signed” and sent digital Valentine’s Day cards that are being printed and distributed to Michigan Medicine pediatric patients. The cards are being given to young patients staying overnight at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and those visiting outpatient clinics throughout the region.

It’s a little token sure to put a smile on the face of patients and families alike.

Rebecca Priest, right, passes out valentines to a patient at Mott.

“The organization is always looking at ways to bring joy to those we serve,” said Rebecca Priest of the Michigan Medicine Department of Communication, who helped coordinate the campaign. “We are touched that thousands of people are thinking of our Little Victors this time of year.”

While the card campaign is a relatively new tradition at Michigan Medicine — beginning in 2016 — Valentine’s Day greeting cards date back hundreds of years.

The first known valentines originated in England in the 1300s, when partners exchanged the cards in place of gifts.

A Little Victor enjoys both her greeting card and a special Valentine’s Day treat.

With poetry popular at the time, it was only natural for poems and sayings to be used to profess love for one another.

Gradually, other cultures adopted the practice and, by the early 1900s, the holiday became more commercialized. Today, it’s the second-most popular time for people to exchange cards, trailing only the holiday season in December.

That popularity is certainly evident at Michigan Medicine, where this year’s valentine campaign far outpaced the numbers from last year — which were still impressive — when more than 3,000 Facebook followers sent a Mott card in a single day.

The cards have been printed and are being distributed to patients on food trays, at valet services, during rounding and at the front desks of outpatient clinics.

The Mott Family Center is also displaying the greetings on a video screen for anyone who comes by.

“For patients and families in the hospital, this is a way to give them a sense of normalcy,” said Priest. “And it’s a way to spread happiness and love to those who need it most.”