Claremore started a celebration of love and community—and they're not letting COVID get in the way.
Last year, city and faith leaders organized the first Love Day event. The event brought together volunteers eager to complete service projects for local senior citizens, like tree and limb clean up, all across town.
In the first year, more than 40 projects were completed by hordes of volunteers.
This year, with the presence of COVID-19, Love Day looks a little different.
City leaders have declared Saturday, Sept. 19 as Love Day.
"Last year we had the chance to do a lot of physical things. We had over 500 people show up at the church gymnasium and we dispersed from there and did several important projects. This year, of course, will be different," said David Mewbourne. "This year we're focusing on three things. First, the cards of encouragement project mainly for our teachers, senior citizens, and health workers and things like that. Many of us are adopting groups of 25 or 30 of these individuals and writing cards with words of encouragement to be delivered."
In a recent column, acting City Manager John Feary explained the cards of encouragement project in this way: "Because of the effects of the pandemic, we plan to focus on a few select groups of individuals this year: senior citizens, teachers and the senior class of 2021. We will show our love to these groups by sharing cards with them from people of all backgrounds and ages. The Love Day committee will have pre-printed cards available, but just a regular card, note, or letter is absolutely acceptable, possibly even more personal."
Second, he said, volunteers will take on 20 service projects benefiting seniors. He said the Ministerial Alliance will divide up the projects to ensure they all get done.
"A lot of it is cleaning up code enforcement issues for our older citizens who really don't have the ability to do those things," he said. "And checking to see if they need help with smoke detectors, air filters, and things like that."
The day will wrap up in a Love Day Concert to be livestreamed on Facebook.
"It will probably be southern gospel in nature, though there will be some veteran/military elements. Select individuals, like John Feary and Chief Brown and Larry Rice will share some words. There will be a presentation. We want it to be interactive. We welcome comments along the way," he said. "And thanks to a donation, we're going to do a random drawing from the names of those watching for $50."
The concert is scheduled for 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.