By Megan Newton
Valentine’s Day is all about love. Majority of people associate it with a box of chocolates, a giant teddy bear or sulking in your own self-pity of single-ness. Love is hard in college, I think we all can agree. But love comes in all different forms. Love means so many different things. Love can be found in both the simplest and grandest of gestures, and I spent my weekend learning how.
Last Thursday, I hosted a Valentine’s Day philanthropy event at my house on Mill Street. The scene was set and love was in the air thanks to pink-iced cupcakes, red-velvet peanut butter brownies and my infamous buffalo chicken dip. We all indulged with some sugar and “27 Dresses” while doing some good – making Valentine’s for older adults that too call Athens home.
For years, Scripps PRSSA has taken a trip to The Laurel’s of Athens nursing home to spread love during this time of year. Everyone deserves at least one Valentine’s Day card, and for these residents, it’s most likely the only one they’ll receive. PRSSA President Cidnye Weimer and I visited the beautiful nursing home on Friday.
Delivering the valentines made my heart so happy. Their reactions were so genuine and thankful. The whole experience really put things into perspective for me. An event I was so stressed about pulling together was so worth it in the end. And you know what? It wouldn’t have mattered if the decorations weren’t hung or if the cupcakes burned. The resident’s smiles awakened something in me that gave me the motivation I’ve been lacking over the past couple months. There was so much love in that building. Sometimes it really only takes one spark to start a fire.
My actual Valentine’s Day was #ForTheKids. I, alongside fellow PRSSA members Allison Zullo and Amanda Moline, was a dancer in the first annual BobcaThon dance marathon. Together, the dancers and volunteers spent 12 hours on our feet and raised $18,173.13 for the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio. There were so many times during the event where I wanted to quit, or in this case sit. There were so many times when I thought my legs were going to physically give out on me. And then I met the kids in person. And I danced with them. And I danced with my friends. And at 11:59 p.m. I was overcome with a feeling I’ve never felt before. Sure, I’m positive I was a little, actually very delusional, but I was so proud. Our total was amazing for a first year dance marathon and I already cannot wait to do it again. It was a night full of what only could be described as love.
I saw love in so many forms this weekend. And I think that’s what we should strive for not only during the second week of February, but every day. The Merriam-Webster definition of love is “a feeling of strong or constant affection for any person”, but remember to look for love in life’s everyday little moments. If you do this, I’m fairly sure you’ll find your own definitions of love, too.
Megan Newton is a Strategic Communication major with a double specialization in Anthropology and Music Business. After graduation, she aspires to help clients (especially musicians) expand their fan base and engage audiences through creative branding, compelling story telling and content creation. Follow her on Twitter at @_megannewton!