Happy Valley middle schoolers make, deliver holiday cards to nursing home
Published 8:14 am Friday, December 19, 2014
Students at Happy Valley Middle School learned that a small gesture can go a long way this week as they made and delivered Christmas cards to the residents of a local nursing home.
Students in the fifth, sixth and seventh grades at HVMS made Christmas cards, HVMS counselor Tiffany Herrick said.
The project began when Herrick was speaking to students about the importance of giving back to the community and to those less fortunate than themselves.
“We talked about the importance of small gestures,” Herrick said. “Small gestures, especially if they are personal, mean a lot more than a big lavish gift.”
To help show the students how much a small gesture can mean, Herrick had them make Christmas cards.
“It would have been really easy for the kids to have scribbled something out in a couple of minutes, but they really put a lot of thought and effort into it,” she said. “I was very proud of the kids, a lot of them really took it to heart and worked hard.”
When the time came to deliver the cards, Herrick said she was faced with a bit of a dilemma — how would they send them?
With so many students helping to make the cards, there was no way for her to take all the students with her. HVMS Principal Jonathan Minton came up with a solution.
The school promotes the values “respect,” “responsibility” and “right choices,” Herrick said, and students can earn a Tomahawk Ticket for behaviors that promote those values.
Minton suggested Herrick select a group from the students who have earned Tomahawk Tickets so far this year and Herrick drew the names of five students to go with her to Life Care Center of Elizabethton.
“The students went in most of the rooms and were able to talk and deliver the cards to the residents,” Herrick said. “Many of the residents were very excited to see the kids and were very thankful for the cards.”
Seeing the reactions of the residents when they received the cards helped reinforce Herrick’s lesson that small gestures can have a large impact.
Tristin Tipton, one of the students who went with Herrick, never anticipated how much the residents would appreciate receiving something as simple as a card.
“Some people don’t really get stuff and we brought those cards to them,” Tipton said. “They were just really happy.”
While the students may have been surprised at how their gifts were received, Herrick knew all along how much joy the cards would bring, and she was counting on that to help with the lesson.
“I don’t want them to think they can’t give back because they don’t have money,” she said.
In addition to Tipton, Herrick took students Casey Campbell, Abigail Rush, Spencer Babb and Dakota Chess with her to deliver the cards.