RCCS, Mansfield United Lions Club annual Valentine’s Card Drive collects 8,000+ items

February 13, 2024

Richland Source by Richland County Children Services February 9, 2024

Richland County Children Services Executive Director Nikki Harless is shown here with items collected during the annual Valentine's Card drive.

MANSFIELD — Richland County Children Services (RCCS) and the Mansfield United Lions Club’s Valentine Card Drive has surpassed last year’s total of 4,700 items with this year’s collection of 8,156 items.

This marks the second year for the project that was created to show foster youths love with Valentine’s Day cards. 

The Mansfield United Lions Club and RCCS collected Valentine’s cards, candy, books, and dolls for children in foster care ages 0–6, 7-12 and 13-18, from Jan. 10 through Feb. 9. Cards could be hand-made, or store brought.

“The community came together to make a difference and Richland County Children Services is thankful for the support of this project,” said Nikki Harless, Richland County Children Services, Executive Director.

“In Ohio there are more than 16,000 youths in foster care and unfortunately many of them do not have the chance to be part of Valentine exchanges.

“The Valentine’s Day Card Project gives the community an opportunity to show children in foster care that they are loved, appreciated and not alone.” 

“The outpouring of love and support was wonderful! We received cards from Stinger Harley-Davidson in Medina, Ohio, hand-made dolls from The Giving Doll in Norton, Ohio and Golden Corral restaurant in Ontario collected cards from patrons to support the drive.

People from all over Richland County and out of state once again donated cards including families, schools, churches, businesses, public officials, colleges, and correctional institutions, said Brigitte Coles, Richland County Children Services, Community Engagement Specialist.

“RCCS is especially grateful for the support of our Mayor Jodie Perry and the City of Mansfield Parks Department for encouraging all our residents to participate in this project and make this an extra special Valentine’s Day for our foster youth,” Coles said.

Richland County Children Services (RCCS) mission is to lead our community in assuring the safety, well-being, and permanency of children at risk of abuse and neglect.

RCCS encourages all individuals to invest in the lives of children and to provide them with unconditional love, support, guidance, and every available resource to ensure their health and well-being.

You can make a difference in a child’s life. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, contact Richland County Children Services at 419-774-4100 or go to richlandcountychildrenservices.org.

For more information about the Valentine cards project contact Brigitte Coles, Community Engagement Specialist at 419-774-4168 or brigitte.coles@jfs.ohio.gov.




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