Sweet Valen­tines

Serve Daily - - COMMUNITY - By Brian Brinker­hoff for Serve Daily For the rest of the story, visit ServeDaily.com.

SPAN­ISH FORK -- Two Utah com­pa­nies have shown their sup­port to Span­ish Fork High School stu­dents to help en­sure no one is for­got­ten on Valen­tine's Day this year. Mrs. Call's Candy Com­pany and V Cho­co­lates have backed stu­dents with a goal to re­mind them that they are al­ways re­mem­bered and val­ued.

Ster­ling Brinker­hoff, project or­ga­nizer, com­mented, “Valen­tine's Day is pri­mar­ily cel­e­brated by cou­ples, which is a lot of fun if you are part of a cou­ple. For those that feel lonely or for­got­ten, it could be a tough hol­i­day to en­joy. Last year one of our stu­dents was en­cour­aged and helped to take her own life in Payson Canyon by some­one she thought was her friend. We want ev­ery­one to know that some­one cares. We want to cre­ate some­thing spe­cial this year to let the stu­dents know that some­one is al­ways there for them.”

Ster­ling, along with a num­ber of stu­dents in the Par­ent Teacher Stu­dent As­so­ci­a­tion, Scout Troop 98, the Ben­jamin First Ward, and the Span­ish Fork Youth City Coun­cil built 1000 origami flow­ers that were orig­i­nally de­signed by Ster­ling sev­eral years ago. Ster­ling thanked the vol­un­teers, “I never could have fin­ished the flow­ers with­out the help of these vol­un­teers. Each flower takes me ap­prox­i­mately seven min­utes to com­plete. To do all of them my­self would have taken more than 116 hours.”

Ster­ling also dis­cussed the de­sign, “This Valen­tine's Day origami flower is unique in that it is pat­terned af­ter the the lily in­stead of a rose. A heart folds out with a hid­den mes­sage of hope and en­cour­age­ment. The lily has been be­lieved to rep­re­sent, faith, wis­dom and chivalry since the 14th cen­tury.”

To make it ex­tra mem­o­rable for ev­ery­one in­volved, V Cho­co­lates and Mrs. Call's Candy Com­pany have both generously donated treats to the ef­fort.

Ster­ling re­marked,”Orig­i­nally, I was not sure we would get any help, but Mr. McKee (our school Prin­ci­pal) be­lieved in the cause and was will­ing to con­tribute per­sonal funds to make this hap­pen in case no one else was will­ing to sup­port this.

I orig­i­nally planned on only giv­ing some­thing small to the fe­male stu­dents, but thanks to V Cho­co­lates and Mrs. Call's Candy Com­pany, we were able to ex­pand our project to in­clude some­thing awe­some for the en­tire school. I have been so im­pressed and grate­ful that these com­pa­nies have shown such gen­er­ous sup­port. I re­spect them for their will­ing­ness to help. It never ceases to re­mind me of the good­ness of oth­ers.”

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive from V Cho­co­lates noted, “We here at V Cho­co­lates are happy for the op­por­tu­nity to show our sup­port in this project for Span­ish Fork High School, and hope that our small do­na­tion will lift any spir­its that need it. This is a wor­thy en­deavor that caught our at­ten­tion im­me­di­ately, and we com­mend Ster­ling Brinker­hoff for his ef­forts to make a pos­i­tive im­pact in his com­mu­nity.”

Ster­ling noted, “I was orig­i­nally drawn to V Cho­co­lates be­cause of their mes­sage to “Love Life.” With the tragic sui­cide last year, their mes­sage spoke to me as I was try­ing to launch this project. They were ex­tremely quick to re­spond and show how much they care. They truly backed it up with a beau­ti­ful se­lec­tion of their finest truf­fles and caramels to sweeten the day.”

Mrs. Call's Candy Com­pany also made an ex­tremely gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tion to the Valen­tine's Day project. Ster­ling ex­claimed, “I was shocked to learn that they were do­nat­ing a pal­let of their Dark Choco­late Caramels with Sea Salt to our school. I never an­tic­i­pated this level of gen­eros­ity. You never re­al­ize how cool it is un­til you see it all to­gether in one place. I am for­ever changed to see how good peo­ple are in try­ing to make a dif­fer­ence. I feel ex­tremely lucky to work with them and I know it will leave a last­ing im­pres­sion on ev­ery­one in­volved.”

Treats will be dis­trib­uted to all stu­dents, fac­ulty and staff at Span­ish Fork High School on Valen­tine's Day.

Ster­ling wrapped up, “I per­son­ally thank ev­ery­one who showed sup­port for this project, whether it was help­ing to fold origami flow­ers, con­tribute treats or help en­sure no one was for­got­ten. There are so many good peo­ple around us. I hope ev­ery­one touched by this project re­mem­bers the good­ness of oth­ers when they face their great­est per­sonal chal­lenges. When times are tough­est, some­one is al­ways there that cares.”

Vol­un­teers made tubs full of Origami flow­ers for Valen­tine’s Day at Span­ish Fork High School.

Ster­ling Brinker­hoff

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