KNIGHTDALE — The Eastern Regional Library is preparing for Valentine’s Day a little differently than normal.
Instead of pink and red decorations, the library has a red, white and blue table with blue heart cutouts waiting for residents to create Valentine’s Day cards for local veterans.
“(Valentine’s for Veterans) was first brought up because a lot of people show their appreciation during those holidays that are specifically for veterans so it was nice to look at a different time of year,” said Nicole Lambert, the Wake County libraries teen services coordinator.
The program is about three years old and started as one just for teens. Eventually, the libraries opened it up to anyone who wanted to stop by the table.
It started out in libraries on the west side of the county but eventually, it became a program worth expanding to all libraries.
Lambert said the program works well because she notices a lot of the teens she works with want to give back to the community in some way. Valentine’s for Veterans created about 700 cards for veterans last year and Lambert said she hopes the county can continue increasing that amount.
“We’ve been slowly raising the bar each year,” she said.
According to the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, there are an estimated 769,384 veterans in the state, with the majority coming from the Vietnam War era.
When the Valentine’s for Veterans program began, the Valentine’s were brought to the Durham Veteran’s Association Hospital. Now, the libraries give the Valentine’s to the Wake County Veteran’s Service office, whose staff will distribute the Valentine’s to different locations.
Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews