Valentine's Day/Spreading Good Will: Radio stations, listeners show nursing homes, hospital some love

Published on Friday, 14 February 2014 23:18 - Written by Rebecca Hoeffner rhoeffner@tylerpaper.com

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Patients at hospitals and nursing homes got a Valentine’s Day surprise yesterday when staff of Christian radio stations KVNE and KGLY brought them listener-made Valentines.

“It’s awesome,” said Haley Tutt, whose one-year-old daughter is recovering at East Texas Medical Center Hospital from an allergic reaction to her first taste of peanut butter (the family is hoping to leave today). “It’s so sweet that people made these Valentines for strangers, it really is.”

Reese and her twin brother, Lawson, examined the cards with surprising delight for one-year-olds.

“I listen to KVNE every morning,” said the father, Justin Tutt. “Hopefully the fame won’t go to their heads. Then one day they can make Valentines for strangers.”

This is the fifth year of the project for the radio station. The first year about 5,000 Valentines were delivered; this year, 21,000.

“It’s really grown the last couple years,” said Jill Smith, director of community connections for the stations.

Other places the five teams delivered Valentines to were Truman Smith Children’s Hospital in Gladewater, Veterans at Watkins-Logan-Garrison State Veterans Home in Tyler, Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, Upshur Manor in Gilmer, Legend Healthcare in Longview and other places around East Texas. The Valentines were delivered to about 1,100 people.

Staff members often stopped to pray for patients who allowed visitors, like Jim Louis, who has been in the hospital for cancer treatments for more than a month.

“You think there’s no one thinking about you, when really there’s always someone praying for you,” he said.