What the World Needs Now: Woman embarks on campaign to spread love with valentines

Vanessa Dietz/Daily Mining Gazette Michelle Mariacher demonstrated how to make valentines last weekend in Rockland.

ROCKLAND — One woman is starting a love campaign by sending valentines to Rockland residents, and she’s not stopping there.

Ninety-one homemade valentines with inspirational messages were put in everyone’s boxes at the Rockland Post Office Monday to wish residents a happy Valentine’s Day.

“I want to nurture the heart of the community,” said Michelle Mariacher, a former Rockland resident, who returned to town to help her sister through a bout of severe depression.

She hopes valentines in the mail will warm hearts, and make her sister happy in the process.

“It’s no secret the world needs more love. Love is important. Love is what we need to create peace and harmony.

Vanessa Dietz/Daily Mining Gazette The valentines for Rockland residents were put in all 91 residents mailboxes Monday, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

“There’s really a great joy in making something and giving it to your neighbors,” Mariacher said.

She’s planning to offer to host similar events targeting another local community on March 6, and on the first Mondays of the following months until she returns home to Helena, Montana, later this year.

“We’ll just go with this same theme,” she said. “Just spread the love all over the place.”

A few people joined Mariacher Sunday afternoon to make the hearts she learned in former elementary school Teacher Jean Eckloff’s fourth-grade class in Ontonagon.

“It’s productive. It helps our young people believe in their potential to create,” said Mariacher, who invited people on Facebook to the Rockland Township Hall Sunday.

“It’s fun,” said fifth-grader Brigit McNear, one of three shy, home-schooled friends who munched on the mostly healthy snacks Mariacher had on hand while making the woven paper valentines.

She sent the volunteers home with material to make more valentines.

“You’re family should come first, and that’s why I’m here,” Mariacher said.

“At the end of the day, we’re going to touch 91 hearts and that’s a beautiful thing,” she said.