MUSTANG, Okla. (KFOR) – Billie Graybeal starts right around Christmas every year, a couple of hours a day, a few more on weekends.
“I have my routine set,” she tells us.
She sits down at her dining room table and writes her Valentine cards.
“I want it to be personal,” she says, “I want them to know it’s from me.”
Billie is a substitute teacher at Mustang Trails Elementary School.
She volunteers there after school too.
It’s been seven years since a thought struck her to do something for the students that had come to mean so much to her.
Graybeal says, “I really got to know the students and got very attached to them.”
Her idea, to give an individualized Valentine card to every single student and staff member at the school.
Billie recalls, “I talked to the principal at that time and she said, ‘Do you realize what kind of undertaking this would be?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I do.’ That’s when she told me to get the list.”
List in hand, Miss Billie started checking names and addressing cards.
Her first delivery was in 2014.
Grabeal shows us, “These here are the Valentines with all the children’s names on them, and they go in the bag.”
Since that time, she hasn’t missed a single kid or teacher, even if it means double or triple-checking to make certain.
Billie had planned to fill he car trunk and deliver her Valentines sometime in the week leading up to February 14.
Teachers at the school had planned parties for Friday, February 12.
Unfortunately, a record cold snap and snowstorm cancelled those careful plans.
But Miss Billie remains confident that a warmth like hers can beat any cold weather.
“If I can make the kids smile, it’s worth it, the time, the expense, everything.”
Graybeal says she’ll bring her cards to school as soon as it opens again next week.
This year she wrote more than 700 cards for students and more than 100 for the teachers and support staff at Mustang Trails.