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Examiner
  • Nativity students give nursing home residents a merry Christmas

  • Alyssa Sirna was unsure about participating in Nativity of Mary Catholic School’s Christmas delivery program at first.

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  • Alyssa Sirna was unsure about participating in Nativity of Mary Catholic School’s Christmas delivery program at first.
    The program, which has been a tradition at the Independence school for many years, is part of the middle school curriculum and allows students to give a little something back during the holidays. Although unsure at first, the sixth grader quickly warmed up to the idea after seeing everyone’s reactions to the small gifts.
    “When we brought them the cans, you could just see their eyes light up,” Alyssa said. “For some of these people, these are the only presents they will get, so it was really nice to do something good like this for them.”
    Each of the coffee cans used in the delivery program was decorated as a snowman and filled with small gifts such as homemade ornaments, candy and toiletry items. A stocking cap over the can served as the lid. All of the items inside the cans were collected by the entire school or donated by community members.
    The entire middle school group of sixth, seventh and eighth graders then split up into different groups to deliver the gifts to area nursing homes. They visited Meyer House and Summit Nursing Home in Kansas City and The Village at Carrol Park in Grandview, Mo. After delivering the cans, students gathered to sing Christmas carols to the residents and staff.
    “As we were passing out the candy and the gifts, it seemed like everyone was saying thank you,” said Olivia Schnoebelen, a sixth grader. “Every other person was giving us hugs and kisses. It felt really good to see how happy we made them.”
    Brandon Black, an eighth grader, played Santa Claus and was given the opportunity to hand out candy canes to all the residents. He said several of the residents were so excited to see “Santa” that they wanted to take a picture with him.
    “It was definitely fun. They liked seeing Santa Claus,” he said. “I think we are so privilege to have family and be able to have Christmas presidents that it is important to do something to help those who might not have that during Christmas. It makes us all feel good when we are helping someone else.”
    Eighth grader Elena Artiz said it is almost like the students at Nativity become the family of some of the nursing home residents because often, they have no one else.
    “It is fun to see them all dancing and singing along when we are singing the songs,” she said. “It makes me feel joyful to see them. Some of them won’t get anything else this Christmas. It also gives us a chance to work together as a school for a very good cause.”

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