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Third graders send Valentine's cheer to Dana-Farber patients

Third grade Brookwood students didn’t just exchange Valentine’s cheer with classmates and friends this year. The students made over 200 colorful cards filled with heartfelt wishes and words of encouragement for patients at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Grade 3 teacher Jen Cunningham-Butler is Co-President of the Friends of Dana-Farber and for many years has led a Valentine's card making effort here at the school. The children put a lot of effort into their task as was clear in their beautiful cards which were put in the Valentine's gift bags distributed by the Friends of Dana-Farber.

Approximately 200 bags - containing things like lip balm, hand cream, lemon drops, a game (like Sudoku books or cards), colored pencils and a cookie - are given out each month by the Friends to the patients undergoing treatment at Dana-Farber. The third graders' messages were an added treat this month.

The warm, positive effect the cards elicited was overwhelming as patients sent in a number of notes of gatitude:
To: Laura Caron - Head of School - When I was undergoing chemotherapy at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston on February 14, I was given a goody bag from the Friends of Dana-Farber. Among the items in the bag was a beautiful piece of artwork by one of your third graders in honor of Valentine's Day. It truly brightened my day. Please pass on my sincere thanks and appreciation. I have it posted on our refrigerator. Little acts of kindness to those of us with cancer mean so much.

One of the Friends of Dana-Farber volunteers who passed out the patient bags, which included the valentine cards, wrote:

I was stopped by a nurse in the infusion hall . . . . She said that many of the patients have no one to be with them, and they go through this process alone . . . .  The most important thing in the bag was the cards. I told people to look at the cards from the children at your school. Most of the time the cards were pulled out and we all could enjoy the artwork. Please tell your class that they touched so many people Tuesday.
Also, sending them warm hugs, JoAnne

Another patient posted on Brookwood's Facebook page:
I was a patient at Dana-Farber in Boston yesterday, and received one of the lovely Valentine’s Day bags filled with treats and a message from one of the third graders wishing me well. What made it even more special is that I was a third grader teacher in Hudson, New York, when I began my teaching career in 1968. Bless you and your teachers . . . you made a difficult day so much nicer. Thank you.

(Photo shows Brookwood Grade 3 teacher Jen Cunningham-Butler, right, with other volunteers who helped deliver the gift bags containing student cards to patients.)