Every year, the students at Ross Medical in Brighton like to create handmade valentines for retirement or nursing homes around town. This year, they made cards for Naval Sailors at the Great Lakes Naval Base in Chicago.
The idea started when Lisa Spitler, a friend of campus director Susan Mall’s, asked friends to write to her son who was in boot camp. Susan thought it was a great idea, so she sent him a letter thanking him for his service. She was surprised when he wrote back to tell her how much he appreciated the letter.
She got inspired to ask Lisa if other sailors in Jerry’s group would also appreciate getting mail. Lisa said they would be thrilled because many of her son’s comrades do not have family that keep in touch with them. Susan shared her experience with the students and staff at the campus and they all thought it was a brilliant idea. Many students have family members and friends in the military, so they understand how hard the military lifestyle can be at times. Medical Assistant, Jenna Halstead, was especially excited to participate in this activity. She said “I would do anything for those guys.” The students and faculty made approximately 50 cards.
Lisa was so grateful that Ross had done this for her son and his unit. She came to the campus and picked them up on her way to the Great Lakes Base in Chicago. She wanted to personally deliver them and make sure the cards got to the right people. She stated, “It’s so wonderful for Ross Medical to make the cards for the troops; it really lifted their spirits.” Jerry and a friend from his unit organized the cards and they handed them out to the other guys on Valentine’s Day.
Being a military supporter herself, Susan was really glad that Ross Medical was able to do this for the sailors. She stated, “We usually make valentines every year for different nursing or veterans’ homes, but it was nice to do something a little bit different this year. It’s great to do something nice for people you don’t know, but it’s always extra special when it’s someone you have a personal connection to. The students had a lot of fun making the cards and we are happy to be able to make such a difference.”
Making a simple valentine does not require a tremendous amount of time or effort; however, it can make a world of a difference in someone’s day. Most of the sailors in Jerry’s group are also from Michigan, so they were ecstatic to know that they have so much support back home. Susan stated, “This is what it means to be a community. It’s these small acts of kindness that make the biggest difference.”