SSA

Allison “Allie” Hellier (left) and Michelle Podolnyy (right) are the co-directors of Sister Support Ambassadors.

Whether you decide to shower your gal pals with sweet candies or rich chocolates, Galentine's Day is a chance for women to cherish their friends while channeling their inner “glorious female warrior,” as “Parks and Recreation” character Leslie Knope would say.

If you’ve never binge-watched the light-hearted comedy show, Galentine's Day is a holiday invented by Leslie as a way to get her friends together and show them how thankful she is for their constant support.

Since the release of the “Parks and Recreation” episode in 2010, women all over the world spend Feb. 13spoiling their female friends with kind gestures and treats.

It doesn’t matter if you’re single, taken, in a long-distance relationship or in a complicated one, anyone can celebrate Galentine’s Day.

Madeline “Maddie” Harlow, 21-year-old UF journalism senior, is already planning with her friends the perfect Galentine’s party consisting of treat-yourself snacks like McDonald’s fries, wine and maybe a charcuterie board.

Harlow said her Galentine’s Day inspirations come from Danielle Tullo, lifestylist and senior editor of Her Campus, who is known for having cute party favors like prosecco bottles with everyone’s names labeled.

With most of her friends being single or labeled the dreaded “it’s complicated,” Harlow described the unofficial holiday as a great opportunity to show you don’t need to be in a relationship to prove you are enough.

Harlow said she would rather celebrate her friends and their accomplishments.

Not sure what to do with your best friends on Galentine’s Day? Harlow recommends watching romantic comedies or baking brownies as possible activities.

“It’s kind of nice to show your friends that they can be your valentine too, and you care about them,” Harlow said.

For others, Galentine's Day is a way to support friends who might not be able to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their significant other.

Katie Parker, a 19-year-old UF economics sophomore, is in a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend who lives in Palm Beach Gardens.

The four-hour car ride, his hectic work schedule and Parker’s school commitments make it extremely difficult for them to see each other, so Parker relies on her girlfriends, especially on Galentine’s Day.  

“I love celebrating Galentine’s Day because that’s just a different kind of love that you experience with the girls who are really close to you and have gone through a lot of things with you in your life,” Parker said.

Parker will also be celebrating Valentine’s Day with Sister Support Ambassadors (SSA), a UF Panhellenic organization committed to supporting and spreading awareness about sexual assault on campus. She is Assistant Director of Ambassador Relations for SSA.

This Valentine’s Day, SSA is partnering with One Love Foundation, which is an organization that raises awareness about what healthy and unhealthy behaviors in a relationship look like. Together the organizations will be tabling from 12-2 p.m. on Tuesday on Turlington Plaza, Wednesday in Newell Hall and Thursday on the Plaza of the Americas.

“We want people to know that they are loved,” Parker said.