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Special Delivery: send a Singing Valentine

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Georgia Southern University's Baptist Collegiate Ministry offers a unique Valentine's Day gift – Singing Valentines.
    The ministry offers Singing Valentines to the community as a fund-raiser for their spring and summer missions trips. The program has been offered for 10 years and began when Jerry Johnson, the senior campus minister, came to Georgia Southern from Columbus State University where the program was a big success.
    "When I came to GSU, I thought the Singing Valentines program would be successful here and I wanted to get it started," Johnson said. "So we began the program, and it really took off."
    The Singing Valentines cost $25 and include a stuffed animal and a box of chocolates in a basket of goodies and three songs: "Baby Face," "You are My Sunshine," and "Happy Happy Valentine's Day."  Each valentine is presented by groups of 4 or 5 students.
    All of the money obtained from this fund-raiser is used to send students on spring and summer missions trips all over the world. During these trips they minister to people while aiding with disaster relief, offering food, and  building and repairing houses. In order for the students to be eligible for the trips, they must work a minimum of three hours. These hours may include preparing and performing the Singing Valentines.
    "This is a great fund-raiser," said Peter Johnston, the student coordinator. "All of the money goes to sending students on missions. It really is for a great cause."
    Donna Blackburn, the Associate Campus Minister, is the coordinator of the program this year.
    "This is the most fun fund-raiser of the year," Blackburn said. "It provides a service for the community because it is a way to show appreciation to people. It isn't just for people who are involved romantically."
    The ministry students perform approximately 100 to 125 valentines a year. These valentines are sent between husbands and wives, parents and children, co-workers, and friends.
    "This is fun because it is more than just a box of chocolates," said Johnston. "It is a performance and so much more. People love to be sung to."
    To order a singing valentine, call the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at (912) 681-2241.
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