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The hearts of high school students at Santa Maria and Pioneer Valley were in the right place this Valentine’s Day.

The special day involved making more than 200 Valentine cards that were later distributed to the elderly and sick and Marian Hospital and a Saint’s V-Day Rally.

The idea for the outreach at the medical center started with a discussion about being thoughtful to others and the meaning of “Golden Rule” in Merrie Okie-Goldin’s classes. After a few videos about many seniors feeling lonely, the art students began making the cards.

Then, the cards were delivered after school to Panther students Karen Pacheco and Maria Delgado, who are part of the hospital’s volunteer program, and handed out.

Jorge Araiza 11th grade art student-- "It made me feel good because I have my grandma and I would never want her to feel alone. I think it was a kind thing to do and I think we should do things like that more often. We should take time in our classes to support our community members so we feel more as one instead of school being separate from our community."

Saint Alumni Miranda L. Jaurequi- "I felt like giving back to the community by delivering the Valentine cards was a special and kind gesture. Knowing that my grandmother is also in the hospital right now gave me a sense of happiness knowing she and other patients received a special treat."

Okie-Goldin said the compassion students showed was “unmatched”.

“I told my students today that after I read their cards I felt a renewed sense of hope and faith,’’ she said. “They wrote such kind and thoughtful words. Very kind and loving.’’

There was also a lunchtime Valentine’s Day Rally organized by students from Activity Director Adrian Salazar’s ASB leadership classes. The event included games, candy, music and other fun activities. More than 300 students attended the celebration and roses were available for sale through the school’s FFA program.

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.