For most, Valentine’s Day represents the romantic expression of young love. The annual tradition usually brings with it the delivery of cards, chocolates or flowers between young couples who feel the need to express their unrequited love for their partner. For two young Millerton, NY, residents, Jai Ferguson and Nicholas Coburn, love means a bit more. Last weekend the boys got to work baking Valentine’s Day themed baked goods for village seniors as a simple act of kindness during what has been a rather bleak two years for the area’s elderly population.

“My mom gave us the idea to bake something for the local seniors,” says Nicholas, whose mother Maria Tamburrino helps take care of local seniors suffering from dementia. The gesture from Nicholas and Jai carries a particular weight now when seniors are often unable to get outdoors during the winter—especially since the onset of the pandemic. “I think it’s important to reach out to seniors now because they don’t always have someone to check in on them and winter can be a lonely time for many people,” Nicholas says. “Since seniors in our area aren’t able to get out much, it’s important to visit them. Valentine’s Day is a great way to make them feel special.”

In celebration of the sweet holiday, Jai and Nicholas baked brownies, blondies, chocolate chip cookies and a host of other holiday-themed treats including cupcakes, strawberry cheesecake minis, fruit kebabs and a personal favorite of the two boys, Oreo pudding cups. The weekend’s success has inspired the boys to get out in future holidays to visit and bring joy to village seniors. “I hope we can do this again maybe around Easter and Christmas to make some gifts for folks,” Jai says. “I would want to do this again,” says Nicholas. “I met some really nice people and would like to see their smiles again.”