Wellford students share the Christmas spirit
The spirit of Christmas was brought to life for residents at Midway Residential Care last Thursday when students from Wellford Academy of Science and Technology delivered handmade cards and sang carols.
Student council members from first through fourth grades personalized cards and practiced songs leading up to the visit, coordinated through Providence Care Hospice and House Calls.
“We believe in doing service learning by the writing of the cards and visiting. The kids really look forward to it. It’s a great experience for them,” Melissa Hyatt, school counselor, said.
The 18 students that were elected by their peers and teachers for council were prepared in advance to meet the residents.
“We told them to accept everyone and show appreciation for being there, and they did,” Hyatt said.
“I was amazed by the unconditional love they came in with. They came in at 100 percent with hugs and cards. The patients loved it,” said Amy Howard, volunteer outreach coordinator with Providence Care.
During their visit, the kids visited three buildings that house 92 residents. Howard Hrbek, Hyatt’s father, accompanied the group, playing ukulele. Some residents even followed the students from building to building with cards in hand to continue the celebration.
“It was precious to see the smiling faces (on the residents). It means you made a difference,” Hyatt said.
The experience was cherished by all of the generations, reminding the seniors of times gone by and teaching children the value of volunteering.
“It teaches the students something you can’t experience in the classroom, an appreciation of differences,” Hyatt said.
“(Providence Care) tries to keep life as normal as possible for hospice patients so that they are part of the community and not left out,” Howard said.
“This kind of thing needs to happen all year long…It’s the simple need of a simple visit to the seniors in the community. We hope this type of magic happens all year round.”
“If (the students) have the opportunity, they want to do it again,” Hyatt said. “This is what Christmas is all about.”
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