DUNLAP, Ill. (WMBD) — A Dunlap art gallery is hosting an event to brighten Valentine’s Day for local veterans.

Creative Soul Gallery is collecting homemade Valentine’s Day cards to give to medically shut-in veterans at Bob Michel VA Clinic in Peoria.

Interested participants can make the cards right at the gallery’s creation station. Creative Soul provides all the supplies.

Celeste Restrepo, owner of Creative Soul Gallery, said the cards mean a lot to the veterans, who are alone most of the time. She said often the only person they see is their social worker.

“That’s really important because they can’t really leave their own and with the pandemic, they don’t get a lot of interaction,” she said.

Restrepo said it’s important to recognize and honor veterans, who represent just 1% of the American population.

“If we can do a little something to brighten their day and something they could set out in their home and see, I think that’s really important, and I think it does lift their spirits,” she said.

She said it’s the third year of the Valentine’s for Vets initiative and she is anticipating 150 cards. Two second-grade classes and a Girl Scouts troop were among the participants.

Restrepo hopes the event gets bigger with every year.

“I would love if every one of those veterans, and I think there’s about 50 of the medically shut-in. I would love it if every single one of them got a stack,” she said.

Valentine’s Day cards will be accepted at the gallery through Saturday.