The Valentine Peace Project (VPP) started as a Los Angeles community project in 2005 and became a non-profit organization supported by Community Partners in 2006. In 2008 the Project continued in the Netherlands as a Dutch foundation and is also currently based in New York.
The Project started as a peace and community awareness vehicle around Valentine's day to illuminate the many faces and greater potential of love next to the traditional Valentine expression. Hundreds of moving and heart-felt poems were received and February give-outs took place in Australia, Wales, Canada, the US, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Expressions of peace tied as scrolls or wrapped around flowers were given away in public places. (For a list of partial participants see Thanks). Schools and community programs participated and poems/statements were received from poets and students as well as Yoko Ono, Marshall Rosenberg, David Whyte and Allison Crowe.
The Project continues to be active in community and evolve into a future business with social purpose - building relationships to transform the fact that many commercial symbols and gifts of love actually come out of conflict. Abigail Lewis, editor of the Whole Life Magazine in Southern California: "[VPP Founder] Hewson’s ultimate goal is simple: To give us an opportunity to reflect on love in deeper ways and explore how we can connect the work of peace to expressions of love, whether that be to a partner or to the work of love in the world."
We work on new ways to express Valentine's Day, new opportunities for Peace Day (in September), new symbols of love or peace; opportunities for ethical trade and horticulture, and the artistry of peace - the creative voice in everyone.
The VPP continues its community roots while beginning to design peace products - beginning with Dutch peace bulbs - to support the work of peacebuilding and community. From creative horticulture around the International Day of Peace in September to a community themed Valentine's day in February to all year active flower products - the VPP is a blooming social enterprise for a new era.
We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization. Martin Luther King
Poetry is an act of peace. That is why we know that poetry is like bread; it should be shared by all, by scholars and by peasants, by all our vast, incredible, extraordinary family of humanity. Pablo Neruda
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. Buckminster Fuller