7 Meaningful ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day

It’s that time of the year again: the store shelves are stocked up with heart shaped candies, cards, and all things pink and red. Whether you are excited about Valentine’s Day, or absolutely dreading it, there are plenty of meaningful ways to share the love this February 14.

1. Write a love letter.

letter

Write a letter to your member of Congress to show your love for life-saving development programs that are working to put an end to extreme poverty. Writing a letter to Congress takes only a few minutes, and can have a huge impact on how he/she votes. Not sure where to start? Check out our guide on how to write your member of Congress.

2. Indulge in a good read alongside those chocolates.

mountains

Here are some book suggestions from ONE team members: Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, by Tracy Kidder; The Last Lecture By Randy Pausch; Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof; Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

3. Get your heart pumping for a good cause. Sign up for a charity walk/run in your area for a cause that matters to you.

4. Create Valentine’s Day cards that advertise your ONE Campus Chapter’s next meeting or event and pass them out on campus. If your school doesn’t have a ONE chapter yet, use these valentines as a way to spread the word and get the ball rolling.

How to say I love you in Africa

5. Get a Valentine’s gift that benefits a good cause.

ado(red)

(RED) has lots of great options, and they’ve raised over $240 million to date for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and malaria. Heifer InternationalONEfashionABLE and Equal Exchange also have some snazzy options. If you’re ordering flowers for your special someone this year, try One World Flowers, which are Fair Trade Certified and fight against mistreatment and abuse of their workers.

6. Help mend a broken heart.

worldofchildren

Donate to World of Children Award, which is currently seeking donations that will ensure life-saving surgery for children with congenital heart defects.

7. Show yourself a little love. Set aside extra time to do something you enjoy, splurge a little on something you have been wanting, take a bubble bath, pamper yourself a bit… you deserve it! A happy advocate is an empowered advocate.

Got any other ideas? Share them in a comment below.