'It doesn't take much': Destin eatery organizes 'Adopt a grandparent' for Valentine's

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log
A sweet note for someone on Valentine's Day is always welcomed. This is just a few of the notes already written that will be delivered with goody bags to seniors on Valentine's Day as part of Sarah K's "Adopt a Grandparent" project.

In an effort to brighten someone's day, Sarah Schriefer, owner of Sarah K’s Gourmet, is looking to pull together some goody bags and handwritten cards to be given to senior citizens in assisted-living facilities for Valentine’s Day.

It's what she calls the “adopt a grandparent” project.

“I was just looking for something to brighten their day. Just kind of boost some spirits, especially the older generation,” Schriefer said.

“I’m sure it was just horrible not being able to see their loved ones,” she said in reference to the last couple of years amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

So, Schriefer is encouraging others to adopt a grandparent. She has a table set up in the lobby of her gourmet shop in the Shoppes at Paradise Isle at 34940 Emerald Coast Parkway in Destin where people can come in and write a handwritten card.  

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Adopting a grandparent is $5 and will help provide some small gifts, Sarah K’s homemade sweet treats as well as the handwritten sweet messages. For each grandparent adopted, Sarah K’s will match the donation up to 20 sponsorships.

Sarah Schreifer of Sarah K's Gourmet has a table in her lobby for people to stop by and write a note for a senior on Valentine's Day.

The plan is to deliver the goodie bags and sweet treats to Brookdale Bluewater Bay on Feb. 13.

Schriefer is also doing this project in honor of her late grandmother, Sophie Kolly, who was crowned the Valentine’s Day Queen at the Sterling House in Niceville at the age of 95.

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“We’re going to make cookies, something chocolatey with hearts,” and gather up some other treats, Schriefer said. 

About a half dozen notes have been written as part of "Adopt a Grandparent" for Valentine's Day, but more are needed.

“We’ll have a little bag for each one,” she said. 

And the elderly on the receiving end will be excited. 

“I think it’s a fantastic idea. I know the residents are going to see those cards and enjoy the treats that come with it. They are going to be thrilled,” said Kim Castriotta, resident programs coordinator at the Bluewater Bay facility. 

In honor of Sarah K’s late grandmother, Sophia Kolly, who was crowned the Valentine’s Day Queen at the Sterling House in Niceville at the age of 95, Sarah K’s Gourmet is making Valentine’s Day much brighter for senior citizens in assisted-living facilities this year.

“Those kinds of things … it really doesn’t take much in helping them remember they haven’t been forgotten,” Castriotta said. 

Castriotta said they already have a fun day planned for the 40 residents at the home, noting they have a gentleman that will be coming out to sing for them on Valentine’s Day. 

Sarah Schreifer of Sarah K's Gourmet is looking to "brighten the day" for grandparents on Valentine's Day.

However, she said the residents don’t know anything about the “adopt a grandparent” project with the sweet notes and treats that are coming. Or at least they didn't last week.

“This is probably one of the kindest things for someone to reach out and do this for them … it’s just wonderful. This will be the highlight of their day … I’m sure of it,” Castriotta said.

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Brookdale Bluewater Bay is a small residence with 40 rooms and is family oriented.

“It’s a special place, and I feel fortunate to work there and more importantly I feel thrilled that Sarah K would put us on the project list. We’re looking forward to it,” Castriotta said. 

There is still time to drop by Sarah K’s Gourmet and get in on the “adopt a grandparent” for Valentine’s Day. The gourmet shop is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.