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Highland Middle School students partner with ministry to give cheer to seniors in nursing home

Updated: Dec. 4, 2020 at 10:47 PM CST
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HIGHLAND, Ark. (KAIT) - Students at Highland Middle School are putting together a care package of sorts to help spread joy to seniors in nursing homes.

It’s called the Silver Tree project. Members of the Highland Middle School Student Council and the Beta club are partnering with Comfort Keepers Ministries.

They want to help spread the word to get items for senior citizens.

“One of the biggest things they were asking for was Little Debbie snack cakes,” Amanda Gates, seventh-grade science teacher said. “[Other items include] puzzle books, chapsticks, costume jewelry, makeup, nail polishes, framed photos, knick-knacks, things like that.”

For Gates and seventh-grade math teacher Anna Crowe, they’re helping lead this project, but it’s the students who are ultimately taking the reigns.

“They come up with their own ideas and their own plans,” Crowe said. “Our biggest job here is to facilitate the plans that these students implement and put into place.”

It’s more than just filling boxes, it’s also thinking of ways to stay connected with those in the nursing home. With COVID-19, loneliness has been a nationwide problem among seniors.

“Maybe it might be an encouraging thing for these students to open up maybe a pen pal type friendship with some of these residents,” Crowe said.

For the two teachers, they say the effort their students are taking is heartwarming.

“It’s refreshing to see that young kids have that big of a heart,” Gates said. “It makes me want to be a better person honestly.”

If you’re in the Highland area and want to donate, you still have time. Donations can be made in-person at Highland Middle School outside the two entrances.

The cutoff date is next Tuesday, December 8th.

Each item donated will be cleaned and stored away for a few weeks before delivering to the nursing homes.

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