For the past five years right before Valentine’s Day, Alice Larson, owner of Island Paper Chase, has folded more than 500 origami paper hearts. She puts them in packets of 10 each and then gives them all away. In return, she asks the recipient to keep one heart, and on Valentine’s Day, give the nine other hearts away to those who might need one.
“There is no catch or cost for any of this,” Larson said. “My primary purpose is to offer a chance to make people smile. And this year in particular, I think giving away origami hearts can be very meaningful. More than ever, I feel we need to show each other love, not hate. A gift of an origami heart given for no particular reason other than to show you care just feels right.”
In the past, she has given away her heart packets in Tacoma, Portland and Port Townsend. Last year, she only offered the packets on Vashon, giving them to “a nice variety of people including old, young, all genders and some variety of races.” She also folded extra hearts for the senior center and Vashon Community Care.
Larson will be handing out her 50 packets of hearts on a first-come basis from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 11 and 12, at her shop, Island Paper Chase ,located next to Valise Gallery.
“I’m hoping islanders and others will take these packets and spread some smiles around the island or wherever they might be on Valentine’s Day,” she said.
— Juli Goetz Morser