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‘Operation Valentine’ A Success in Williamsport

WILLIAMSPORT -- A couple in Williamsport spread some Valentine's Day cheer on Tuesday, but they couldn't have done it without help from the community.

They collected valentines for our troops.

Sarah and Bill Kieser of Williamsport showed Newswatch 16 the large number of valentines they collected for troops in just under three weeks.

The couple owns and operates Sanders Mortuary on Diamond Street and have several veterans on the staff. When they heard about a national effort to collect valentines for men and women who serve our country, they wanted to participate.

"We put the word out to a few organizations and schools. One school heard about it and then another teacher heard about it and then they spread the word to a friend or a family member," said Bill Kieser.

The couple originally thought they'd end up with a few baskets but what they ended up with was a lot more.

"Over 1,100!" said Bill. "It was a job even counting them!"

"We're really overwhelmed by it, but we're so excited," said Sarah. "Just that we have so many valentines to be sending overseas and to troops that are serving even stateside."

Word spread fast about "Operation Valentine" and what the Kiesers were doing. Students in elementary schools and nursing home residents got involved.

The valentines are going to service members with ties to the Williamsport area.

"We asked for addresses, kind of from the community, so there's many a relative that's here, or this might be home for them, even though they're on a base elsewhere currently."

The Kiesers and their employees spent the day packing up the valentines so the troops can get them in time for Valentine's Day.