Sweet Hearts: Parks & Rec alters Valentine’s observance | News

VALDOSTA – Not able to host its Valentine’s Day social for its clients with special…

VALDOSTA – Not able to host its Valentine’s Day social for its clients with special needs, the parks and rec authority found an alternative.

Annually, the therapeutics department of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority hosts a social for the Young Adult Club, a program that was started more than 15 years ago for teenagers and adults with special needs. 

The social takes place the second Thursday of February. 

Due to the pandemic, the authority adjusted its yearly observance by donating Valentine’s Day gift bags to club members Thursday. The recipients retrieved the bags from the authority’s main office.

“We have missed our YAC members and wanted to let them know that they are loved,” Tammy Crosby, therapeutics coordinator, said. “Even through this pandemic, we are doing everything we can to stay engaged and provide fun activities.”

She said she hand wrote 150 post cards for club members. The gift bags included jewelry projects, arts and crafts and other small items. Special Olympics Georgia contributed face masks and other treats, parks and rec officials said.

Crosby said the gift bag giveaway was a way to reconnect. The Young Adult Club has not been able to hold its monthly meeting due to the pandemic.

The therapeutics department will move on to its next event, its annual Egg-ceptional Egg Hunt, in partnership with the Miracle League of Valdosta. The free event is scheduled for 11 a.m., March 27, at the Miracle Field in Freedom Park, 3795 Guest Road.

The event is for youth ages 2-12 diagnosed with special needs. Organizers said the hunt includes “socially distanced activities.”

More information: (229) 259-3507; 1901 N. Forrest St.; and vlpra.com