Chenango County Habitat for Humanity

Valentine's Day Carnation Sale Former Fund Raiser

One of the past events that produced a great benefit for building future homes was the Red Carnation Fund Drive. It was set for "Sweetheart Week," that week so designated by the Chenango County Board of Supervisors, in which Valentine's Day occurs. The annual campaign received volunteering from hundreds of people, a truly living network from communities in Chenango County.

Habitat has discontinued this fund raiser, but they are truly grateful for all the volunteers and to all those who purchased carnations.

Board of Chenango County Supervisors Chairman Decker presenting proclamation.
Board of Supervisors Chairman, Richard B. Decker (center), presents proclamation to Olin Miller (left) and Phil Jones (right) of Chenango County Habitat for Humanity.

From four Main Centers,

  • Greene Zion Episcopal Church
  • Norwich Broad Street Methodist Church
  • St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Oxford and
  • American Legion Post #876 in Sherburne

Orders were picked up and then distributed into many communities in Chenango County, as well as into periphery counties.

The distribution concluded around Valentine's Day, as the county blossoms " red" in the colleges, health related areas, adult homes, nursing homes, civic organizations, private homes, real estate offices and restaurants. We know we've been helped by:

  • numerous churches in our county,
  • a large number of businesses,
  • staff and student councils of county schools, and the amazing purchasers of each and every Carnation!
A very heartfelt thank you to each and every one for what you did for us! Here's our Red Carnation for you in thanks!

Participation - Buy a Carnation, Build a House



Perhaps you'd like a bit of history about this day we find so special. It originated with an ancient Roman fertility festival called Lupercalia, which was celebrated on February 15th. Around 270AD, Emperor Claudius II was having trouble obtaining citizens interested in fighting battles and handling civil uprisings. Being emperor, he cancelled all marriages and engagements. Ahh, we know though that love always triumphs, and did so through secretly performed marriage ceremonies conducted by two priests, Valentine and Marius. Valentine was caught on a February 14th. He had, it seems, fallen in love with the jailer's daughter. Just before his execution that day he signed a note to her, "From your Valentine."

Although Christianity became Rome's official religion in 391AD, Lupercalia continued to be celebrated until 496AD when Pope Gelasius replaced it with a similar celebration. The Pope needed a saint for the celebration and chose the lovers saint, Valentine. Honoring Valentine further, he moved the celebration date from the 15th to the 14th, the day Valentine died. Since then this day has become more of a day to express love and affection and caring. We'd love it if you chose to express your feelings for someone special by buying Carnations from a connection near you – to keep the tradition alive and healthy.

- home - request a web site - contact -