Gray Stone senior says ‘You Are Loved’

Published 10:53 am Friday, February 9, 2024

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A Gray Stone Day School senior is continuing a project she began last year to help widows in the community.

Victoria Eckman partnered last year with The Mary and Martha Center For Women, an Albemarle-based advocacy and counseling organization, to spread joy and love at Valentine’s Day.

Victoria Eckman is hoping to impact the lives of more widows and widowers this year. (Contributed)

“Last year’s project was very well received within the community,” Eckman said.

She spoke of one widow who wrote her a letter in response.

“In her letter, she wrote, ‘Words are inadequate to fully express to you my gratitude for the lovely gesture you made… How gracious and empathetic of one so young to recognize the void one feels when our beloved spouse is gone….’ It warmed my heart, and it made me feel special to be able to give a piece of the love and support that I experience so often in a family sense to someone who does not receive it every day,” Eckman said.

Eckman’s senior project will be judged later this spring after a presentation in front of a panel at the school.

Her goal this year was to expand on last year’s effort.

“This fall I will be attending the College of Charleston so I wanted my message to our local widows to last and perhaps allow them to hold it dear throughout the year,” she said. “For this year’s project, I have decided on ‘You Are Loved’ ornaments that will be purchased from The Polka Dot Owl Party. My goal in doing this project last year was to learn and improve upon it for this year. I am growing the project and involving Senior Homes and Tillery Compassionate Care, as well as a few churches within our county. This year’s project is going to reach over 450 widows/widowers.”

Visit Eckman’s fundraising page at to donate or purchase an item.