This Valentine's Day is going to be extra special for more than 200 widows and a few widowers in the Kansas City area.
Widow Wednesday, a local nonprofit birthed by an insurance salesman and his wife, is delivering roses and handmade cards to their doorsteps Saturday and Sunday.
One of them is Betty Bradley. She met Jimmy Chouteau while he was selling her a policy. She said, "In the process of talking about the policy he mentioned that he was starting a not-for-profit organization called Widow Wednesday."
The idea was to help people do household tasks they couldn't do themselves. First, Chouteau pulled up the carpet at Bradley's house so installers could replace it. Since then, he has replaced the hearth on the fireplace, repaired woodwork, tiled her bathroom and kitchen backsplash and painted her shed - all without charging her a penny.
"You're just so grateful that somebody cares you know. That you can't do something for yourself and so they're doing it for you," Bradley said.
Cynthia Chouteau, Jimmy Chouteau's wife, is secretary of Widow Wednesday. She says it's amazing how quickly the ministry has grown.
"One widow told her friend and now we have 200 widows. We weren't trying to start a ministry, we were just kind of like, see a need, meet a need," she told 41 Action News.
It was important for them to involve their children as well. Throughout the year, they help widows and widowers with odds and ends and help them commemorate holidays, so this is nothing new.
"Valentine's Day is just a special time, and getting to be a part of that and loving them on that day is amazing because we know how lonely they are on this day and how much they miss their spouse. I mean, it's a hard day for them," Cynthia Chouteau said.
If nothing else, Bradley wants people to know that, "If you could pick one word out of the dictionary to describe him and you could only have one, it would be genuine because he doesn't put on pretenses or anything. He's just a wonderful human being and I'm just proud to know him."
Widow Wednesday has shown Bradley a new meaning of love because "people can love you not because they're related to you or because they're married to you or because you've done something for you. They just love you because Christ loves you and they love you too."
Widow Wednesday will deliver cards and flowers on Saturday starting at 12:30 p.m. through Sunday.
Dia Wall can be reached at email@example.com.