Seniors receive something from the heart on Valentine's Day

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A group of Region 8 seniors got the surprise of their life on Valentine's Day.

Ten players from the Arkansas Bulldogs Baseball Team showed up at St. Elizabeth's Place in Jonesboro on Wednesday for a special delivery.

Samantha Hollis, the Education Outreach Specialist for UAMS Center on Aging-Northeast, said they want to make a difference in the lives of seniors.

So, this year they decided to join forces with other members of the community to start a Valentines Day Project called, "Sweethearts for Seniors."

"We, at the UAMS Center on Aging-Northeast," Hollis said. "Strive to make every senior feel loved and cherished. We want to reciprocate the time they have spent caring for us."

They decided to put together Valentine's gifts and deliver them to seniors.

Despite the fact that this is the first year for the project, they had an outpouring of support from the community.

"Community members and volunteers came together," Hollis said. "They purchased gifts like body wash, socks, reading material, games, snacks, candy and other traditional Valentine items."

The ASU Child Development and Research Center encouraged every student to create handmade, personalized Valentines for every resident.

They made 200 in total.

9-year-old Arkansas Bulldog, Banx Boozer, said he was glad to participate.

"I was happy," Boozer said. "I thought it was great that we were coming to give these people in the nursing home. . .have a little gift and um, it's just awesome."

Fellow Arkansas Bulldog Rogan Tyler agreed with Boozer.

"I am here to help elderly people for Valentine's Day," Tyler said. "Some of their families are not here to do that for them right now. We're here to help with that and hand out gifts to them. And we're here to help the community. We just want to get to help the elderly."

Boozer said he enjoyed talking to residents there.

"It's great to meet new people," Boozer said. "And to help them."

Tyler said this is something other people in the community should think about doing.

"It will make elderly people feel a lot better," Tyler said. "It will make them feel more cared about and everything."

This project was sponsored by the UAMS Center on Aging-Northeast and a collaboration between the ASU Child Development and Research Center, the Arkansas Bulldogs Baseball team, St. Elizabeth's Place, Nettleton Volleyball, Unilever, Oldham Law Firm and community members who volunteered and donated.

For more information about UAMS Center on Aging-Northeast, click here.

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