Valentine’s Day will be a little brighter for seniors at local nursing homes thanks to the ‘Friends to the Elderly’ organization.

Normally the group pairs volunteers with seniors, but nursing homes across the Quad Cities had to go on lockdown for the safety of their residents.

That leaves some seniors feeling isolated.

Lindsey Peterson, founder of the organization, switched gears by placing a cooler outside her home so that people can make cards, drop them off, and give smiles to local seniors.

“It’s cold outside, but we can warm hearts,” says Peterson.

Sometimes just a little bit of love makes everything better.

Peterson says, “It really brings them joy to know we are thinking of them from the outside.”

Her heart aches knowing nursing homes can’t allow visitors right now.

“A few weeks ago we did end up losing our first elderly friend, and she unfortunately passed away from COVID-19. It was just heartbreaking to know that she wasn’t able to see her love ones for the last year,” says Peterson.

The Davenport mom posted on her ‘Friends to the Elderly’ Facebook page hoping to collect cards.

“People can drop them off, or they can mail them to me, and we’re planning on delivering them soon,” says Peterson.

New cards arrive each holiday, with kids who hope that their drawings will bring smiles, like Peterson’s daughter Raine Peterson.

Raine says the cards have messages “telling them like whatever holiday it is. Sometimes the cards will already say stuff in them, and we draw in them or stuff. Some kids will draw pictures and stuff like that.”

She says it makes her feel good to give back.

“They are all alone, and when we make them cards they’re happy,” says Raine.

Peterson says, “They need our support, so whatever we can do just a simple card. You can just see the smile on their face. It really means a lot, and it’s just a small thing to do, but a big huge meaning to them.”

Peterson says she accept Valentine cards for local nursing home residents via mail or drop off through Feb 13 at 6320 Lakehurst Drive, Davenport IA 52807.