“I saved considering, ‘Wouldn’t it’s nice if I might discover a option to give everybody a valentine who may not get one?’” he mentioned. “I made a decision it wouldn’t be a lot hassle to make a number of extra.”
Because it turned out, many extra.
Within the fall of 2020, Patrick requested college students at his faculty to make 300 valentines to ship on Valentine’s Day 2021 with meal packages offered by Food & Friends, a D.C. charity that helps folks with most cancers, HIV, AIDS and different critical diseases.
Then in 2022, he upped his recreation, enlisting the assistance of scholars at a number of D.C. space faculties to craft greater than 3,000 playing cards.
This yr he supersized it: He organized making and delivering 16,000 valentines for individuals who in any other case probably wouldn’t get one. They have been created by college students at 62 faculties in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, mentioned Patrick, now 14, who personally recruits the school rooms that volunteer.
He just lately developed a web site for his mission, Valentines by Kids, the place he encourages everybody to chop out colourful hearts, write messages of kindness and assist unfold some love.
Within the days main as much as Valentine’s Day, the packing containers of playing cards are picked up at his residence in Potomac, Md., by supply drivers and are taken to about 60 organizations Patrick has coordinated with, together with hospitals, hospices, nursing properties and Meals & Associates, the place Patrick has volunteered together with his father for a number of years.
“With greater than 16,000 playing cards to distribute, our home seems like a FedEx distribution heart,” mentioned his father, Roy Kaufmann, a lawyer who works in D.C.
“We didn’t fairly anticipate simply how profitable Patrick’s efforts could be,” Kaufmann mentioned. “However he has all of it below management and we’re very happy with him.”
Patrick, with assist from his father, bought funding from two native nonprofits to pay for a driver to choose up the valentines and ship them to the assorted teams that may distribute them.
“They imply so much to individuals who don’t have a lot household and live alone,” mentioned Patrick, a ninth grader at Washington International School in D.C. “A valentine will even actually cheer folks up in the event that they’ve been sick or are working so much.”
“I hope it makes them notice that anyone is considering them and cares,” he added.
Carrie Stoltzfus, government director of Meals & Associates, mentioned she is grateful for the packing containers stuffed with valentines handy out with the company’s home-delivered meals.
“It’s fantastic that Patrick thought to deliver so many younger folks collectively to ship messages of kindness to these we serve who’re dwelling with critical diseases,” Stoltzfus mentioned.
Patrick doesn’t know any of the individuals who obtain the playing cards, however he hopes his efforts will brighten their days.
“I really like getting valentines, and I additionally wish to make them,” he mentioned.
His mom, Rosario Allauca Castillo, is a trainer on the Easy Spanish 123 language program in D.C., and he or she asks her lessons to assist make valentines, Patrick mentioned.
College students of all ages are excited to assist, he added, and so they go to nice efforts to make their valentines stand out.
“Some playing cards are coated with glitter, and a few have stickers or are filled with tiny hearts inside,” he mentioned. “No two are the identical.”
College students at Washington Worldwide College say they give the impression of being ahead yearly to spending an hour or two crafting valentines for strangers and placing them in envelopes addressed to “My Good friend.”
“It makes me pleased to know anyone will get a card in the event that they don’t have anybody else to spend the vacation with,” mentioned Max Rapaport, 10, who’s in fifth grade on the faculty.
“The least we might do is give them a card displaying that we take care of them,” he mentioned.
Max mentioned he put giant purple hearts on the back and front of his valentine this yr, and he included a light-weight pink coronary heart within the center with a poem: “Roses are crimson, violets are blue; We predict you’re wonderful — you simply must understand it too.”
“The largest half is having empathy towards others and imagining what it will be like of their view,” he mentioned.
Certainly one of his fifth-grade classmates, Liliana Fadakar, coated her card in pink and crimson hearts, saying she wished to “brighten the day of anyone who’s sick and is perhaps struggling within the hospital.”
“One of the best a part of making the playing cards was imagining how the folks would really feel after they obtain a Valentine’s Day card they weren’t anticipating,” mentioned Liliana, 10.
Patrick mentioned that’s what retains him motivated to proceed the mission, which he needs to increase if can discover sufficient volunteers.
He says he’s felt a way of accomplishment trying on the stacks of heart-covered packing containers which have taken over his household’s lounge and eating room.
“My mother and father, my uncle and grandmother assist me bundle the playing cards and put them within the packing containers, however generally, it’s laborious to maintain up,” he mentioned. “After Valentine’s Day, we’ll all be taking a bit of break.”