Public invited to come make Valentine's cards, delivered to regional veterans hospital on Valentine’s Day.

Bend, Ore., Jan. 11, 2024 — Despite the recent frigid weather, Camp Fire Central Oregon is gearing up to ignite warmth in the hearts of United States Veterans through a volunteer initiative taking place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Monday, January 15. 

Open to the public, the annual service project—Valentine’s for Veterans—provides a chance for community members and campers to gather and make Valentine’s Day cards for veterans. Inclusive youth development organization Camp Fire Central Oregon hosts the event as one of its signature outreach activities, providing all the art supplies and a backdrop of fantastic fun. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to sign up through Connect Central Oregon, then simply bring their crafting spirit and support for the cause. After the event, completed cards are delivered to service members at the regional veterans hospital on Valentine’s Day, February 14. 

“Every year, this volunteer community event just gets bigger and better,” says Kecia Kubota, Camp Fire Central Oregon’s executive director. “There’s something so inspiring about the experience of coming together, not just connecting around the activity of crafting but a gratitude-centered cause on a day that honors Martin Luther King Jr., while commemorating equity, inclusion and diversity. It’s a truly fulfilling event and such a wonderfully creative way to give back and make a difference on this Day of Service.”

In addition to making cards, the public is invited to volunteer to help with the event’s setup and tear-down, further contributing to the event’s success. Anyone wishing to lend a hand is invited to indicate that when signing up through Connect Central Oregon.

Event and volunteer details:

What: Valentine’s for Veterans, a volunteer community event hosted by Camp Fire Central Oregon, honoring MLK Jr. Day of Service
When: Monday, January 15, 9-11:30 a.m.
Where: Bend Church-United Methodist, 680 NW Bond St, Bend, OR 97703
Registration: Connect Central Oregon (registration encouraged, not required),

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Kecia Kubota, Executive Director | Camp Fire Central Oregon; (541) 205-9146


Katie Roberts, Marketing Coordinator | Camp Fire Central Oregon; (541) 299-2812

About Camp Fire Central Oregon

Founded in 1910, Camp Fire is a national organization that actively engages youth and teens in building essential skills for life. Camp Fire Central Oregon has been a local leader in youth development since 1916. The organization provides out-of-school time, teen service and leadership, camp and environmental programs. Young people want to shape the world. Camp Fire provides the opportunity to help them find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are.


When it came to physical health, we renovated bathrooms, paved walkways, and made other camp updates. When it came to child safety and abuse prevention, we continued to refine our national and local policies and procedures, working closely with youth protection experts at Praesidium, the national leader in abuse risk management. This continues to be a huge priority so we can meet the highest standards or have a clear path to get there.

And when it came to mental and emotional health, the toll and isolation of COVID-19 was immense; the U.S. Surgeon General just declared children’s mental health a national crisis, releasing a Youth Mental Health Advisory. To make sure we were ready for young people, we formed a new partnership with On Our Sleeves to offer mental health resources to our network. We also continued to expand education around the power of developmental relationships from The Search Institute. We focused program efforts around creating a safe space, the foundation for youth engagement and interaction, and measured for quality using Weikart Center’s Program Quality Assessment tool.

As we worked through our strategic plan that kicked off in early 2021, we also focused on equity. We addressed equity in both our professional development and in our programming, and we also worked on connecting social-emotional learning (SEL) to equity and explaining to our network why it matters for young people.

Lastly, we know that when a young person gets outside, magic happens. No matter how young people experience the outdoors — as something awesome and powerful to behold or something that catalyzes relationships with self or others, it is a place that everyone can access. It is a tool for positive youth development, and you can find the results and impact in these pages.

We all need connection. Despite COVID-19 and its barriers, Camp Fire was able to connect 68,546 youth and their families to the outdoors, to others, and to themselves, over the past year. We hope you enjoy this report and see the life-giving connections that make this work so important.




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