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Little girl with a big heart visits New London

Carly Glomstad, left, presents Alvina Grosenick with a valentine and goodie bag, to be followed by a hug, during her visit Friday to the Grace Living Community of Glen Oaks in New London where the Maple Grove 10-year-old made 55 visits. TRIBUNE/Rand Middleton

NEW LONDON — Starting at age 4, Carly Glomstad has been making people both old and young feel special.

Now 10, the Maple Grove fourth-grader visited Grace Living Community Center of Glen Oaks where she was greeted by her great aunt Pilla Wasberg, among other relatives.

Pulling a red wagon with slatted sides filled with goodie bags, Carly went room-to-room visiting residents.  

“I have valentine for you and a goodie bag,” she would say. The visit concludes with a heart-felt hug.

“You are so nice,” said one elderly woman.

“I like you,” said another.

“I like you, too,” Carly responded.

She planned 55 stops at Glen Oaks. It’s one of 12 visits on her 2015 calendar. Besides senior living centers, she dispenses love at daycare centers, including Little Blessings in Madison. She will also visit a homeless youth center in Anoka and a residence for adults with developmental disabilities in Coon Rapids.

Her efforts are supported by her parents, Jim and Tina Glomstad. Pilla is Jim’s aunt.

Her goal this year is to raise $5,500 to deliver 570 goodie bags and valentines to children and adults while “Hopefully giving over 1,000” hugs, Carly states in a hand-written newsletter.  Some of the money purchases items for a crisis nursery and center for homeless youth.

Her Girl Scout troop, classmates, friends and family help stuff the goodie bags.

Dispensing love during valentine week sprang from the heart of a four-year-old.

She read a book called “Love, Ruby Valentine” by Laurie B. Friedman. It is about a little girl named Ruby Valentine who each year made up bags with treats and cards with glitter. On Valentine’s Day she pulled a decorated wagon around her small town passing out the little gifts to make people smile.

Carly told her parents she wanted to do just like Ruby. And when the next Valentine’s Day rolled around she had not forgotten. That first year, 2009, she raised $450 and made 115 goodie bags and cards delivered at four locations.

Jim and Tina asked their then five-year old daughter who she planned to give the treats to.

Her answer, according to her parents as posted at was this “…. Probably kids because they like candy, probably people who are sick because they might need to be cheered up, and also anyone who might not get a visitor or be invited to a party on Valentine’s Day.”

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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