Loveland, CO

Heartfelt advice from Loveland's Valentine stampers

Brittany Anas
Deanna Sloat and her mother Jeanne Perrine volunteer to stamp Valentines cards in Loveland, "the Sweetheart City."Jeanne Perrine

By Brittany Anas / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo) Every year, thousands of Valentines from around the world make a detour through Loveland, where they’re stamped with love by volunteers.

Nicknamed “The Sweetheart City,” Loveland’s re-mailing program allows people to send in their love letters, which are then hand-stamped with Loveland postal caches. Each card also gets stamped with a romantic verse selected through an annual contest. This year’s says: “All around our ‘Sweetheart’ City hearts are on display. Symbols of our vision for world-wide love. Where every day is Valentine’s Day.”

In normal times, 50 volunteers (mostly retirees) gather in a makeshift mail room and stamp for two weeks, says Mindy McCloughlan, president and CEO of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce. But due to COVID-19, the program operates a little differently, with 10 volunteers stamping at a time and working in shifts. This year, the Loveland stampers will prepare between 100,000 to 120,000 pieces of mail.
The makeshift mailroom in Loveland where volunteers stamps tens of thousands of Valentines that are rerouted through "The Sweetheart City."Loveland Chamber of Commerce

Jeanne Perrine and her daughter Deanna Sloat, have been stamping for 10 years and have been Loveland residents since 1974. Perrine, a retired postal worker, is assigned to what the volunteers called the “chunky monkey” packages—the cards that might contain candy or trinkets and that are a little lumpier and harder to stamp.

The mother-daughter duo share the joy of sending Valentines and give their best love advice.

Newsbreak: Why do you volunteer to stamp each year?

Deanna Sloat: It’s so uplifting to see the amount of love in the world! We see Valentines that come from all over the world and cross through Loveland.

Jeanne Perrine: There's so much that people can't agree on in this world, and the one thing that we can all agree on was love. If we don’t have it, we want it. If we do have it, we want to share it.

We get letters from all over the world, as many as 110 countries. Today I got Valentines from India, Australia, Canada and Mexico. The most that we have had in a year is 325,000. We get less now with people communicating over email, Instagram and Facebook. But we’re hoping to get around 120,000 this year.

What do you love most about living in the Sweetheart City?

DS: No matter where you go in the country, you’ll have a lot of the same services and stores, so it’s really about the people. Loveland is a giving community. Whenever there’s a need, people step up and fill it—whether that’s the recent Marshal Fire or the historic Big Thompson flood.

JP: We lost our home in the 1976 flood, and so many people helped us that we just always try to give back.

Do you send Valentines?

DS: I’ve switched from sending Christmas cards to sending Valentines cards. I love the idea of people getting something special. During Christmas, it’s so busy and things can get lost in the shuffle. February is a slower time of year, and you can take the time to write a special message.

JP: We send cards to friends and people we’ve met. We sent a card as far as India this year to our waiter we met on a Disney Cruise.
Loveland resident Jeanne Perrine has been volunteering to stamp Valentines for a decade.Loveland Chamber of Commerce

What’s your best advice when it comes to love?

DS: Laughter, communication and doing something you love together. My husband and I love to fish and we enjoy fishing together. It’s our passion.

JP: Always laugh together. And always do things that are unexpected. One year, I was out delivering mail on a country road. I turned the corner and saw a folding table with a white tablecloth, flowers and candle. My husband had a white towel over his shoulder and served me lunch on the dirt road.

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Brittany is a journalist in the Denver metro area with more than two decades of writing and editing experience. She covers travel, restaurants and other lifestyle topics.

Westminster, CO

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