POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – Project Pound Ridge Cupid was such as success last year that the Neighbor to Neighbor Youth Corps has decided to let the little winged cherub loose around town again this Valentine’s Day season.
The project was created by the town Recreation Department’s Neighbor to Neighbor senior program to bring a little Valentine’s Day cheer into the lives of the community’s seniors. Volunteers bake goodies and make homemade greeting cards, place them in a special gift box and then delivery them to the town’s seniors.
Louise Paolicelli, the town’s coordinator of senior psrogram, said that she doesn’t like to schedule events for seniors during the winter months because potential bad weather can make it difficult for them to get out. Instead, her department will bring the event directly to the seniors’ doorsteps.
“We came up with this idea along with the idea for Neighbor to Neighbor Youth Corps, and by ‘Youth Corps’, we mean everybody,” she said.
Paolicelli said she gets a lot of calls from people who want to get involved helping out the town’s senior population and Project Pound Ridge Cupid is one way to do that.
On Sunday, from 1-4 p.m., volunteers will gather at Conant Hall to make Project Pound Ridge Cupid a reality. Some will bake homemade treats like cookies, brownies and cupcakes and bring them to the Hall. Others will create homemade Valentine's Day cards. Then they’ll be wrapped into packages and delivered. The idea is to surprise the seniors. Paolicelli said that though they program was held last year, she still hopes to catch the seniors off-guard this time around.
“Hopefully, they are not looking for it,” she said with a laugh. “Some of them were out last year and didn’t get it – so for them, it will be the first time.”
Students from Pound Ridge Elementary have pitched in by making handmade Valentine cards, but Paolicelli said more volunteers are needed for the communitywide project.
The project’s organizers are still looking for people to provide baked items; they should be divided into individual servings and brought to Conant Hall between 1 and 2 p.m. on Sunday. And they still need people to create more Valentine’s Day cards. They can be made at home and dropped off, or volunteers can come to Conant Hall and make them there. There will be card-making supplies on hand. They will also need help sorting and dividing the items into gift packages, as well as volunteer drivers to deliver the goodies.
“The mission is to bring happiness and cheer to someone’s day,” she said.
Paolicelli said the idea for Project Cupid originated a couple of years ago when two local mothers baked some pies with their kids and delivered them to seniors on their own. The reaction from seniors was so overwhelming they wanted to do something on a grander scale.
“We thought that this would be a great way to do something like that and get all the kids involved,” Paolicelli said.
Those who would like to volunteer for Project Pound Ridge Cupid can call Paolicelli at 914-764-8201 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.