SIDNEY — Alvetro Orthodontics and Shelby County 4-H have teamed to deliver hundreds of handmade Valentine’s Day cards to local assisted living centers.
Darla Bowling, clinical coordinator at Alvetro Orthodontics, initially approached Cassie Dietrich, Shelby County 4-H youth development educator, with the idea as a competition among all the 4-H clubs in the county. Bowling offered a pizza party to the club who made the most cards.
Alvetro Orthodontics, which opened in Sidney 25 years ago, routinely participates in activities within the community. It’s something that is important to Dr. Lisa Alvetro, owner of the orthodontics office.
“We do a lot of community outreach and a lot of times, we like to partner with other organizations, particularly youth organizations,” Alvetro said.
Bowling said the office tries to do something special each year, and this year she felt compelled to work with local children, as well as local senior citizens.
“Basically, every year we look at what can we do in the community that we haven’t done,” she said. “4-H has always been a really soft spot in my heart, because I was in it as a kid for 10 years; my kids were in it for 10 years; and I thought, ‘What could we do with the 4-H kids?’ So, it just ballooned from there.
“I’ve had grandparents, (whom) I’ve watched get to that point where you can’t keep them at home anymore, so you put them in a (nursing) home,” Bowling continued. “I knew it was a slow time out there at the homes; they don’t get visitors and it’s just sad.”
There are 30 4-H clubs throughout Shelby County and, according to Dietrich, about a dozen clubs joined the Valentine’s Day activity. Their participation will count toward their community service requirement, which is a crucial component of 4-H.
“It was a great activity service-wise,” Dietrich said. “It (was) easy to implement and cost-effective for the clubs, so they were super excited to participate.”
At the latest count, the Starting Farmers 4-H club will be the winner of the pizza party. The group collectively produced more than 660 Valentine’s Day cards.
The cards will be delivered to at least three assisted living homes in Sidney — Lane Park, Fair Haven and Dorothy Love — between the dates of Feb. 6 and Feb. 13, but Bowling said they may make delivery to a few additional homes out of Shelby County, as well.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4825