Students Bringing Brighter Christmas to Seniors

WEATHERLY -- The Christmas joy continues to spread in our area. Three seventh-grade girls in Carbon County came up with an idea to give back to senior citizens.

They say it's all in an attempt to make them feel a part of the community and bring back the youthful days of Christmas morning as children.

Inside the main entrance of the Weatherly Area Elementary and Middle School building sits a Christmas tree. Every morning, students are reminded that Christmas is on the horizon, but for three seventh-graders, sensing the holiday cheer just doesn't cut it.

They came up with an idea to give back, so they plan to donate Christmas trees and presents to the Heritage Hill Senior Community.

"Christmas can be depressing for some, and I kind of want to make it as bright as possible for them because Christmas should be a fun time of year," said seventh-grader Kelly Michaels.

"It means a lot to me because we were offered a prize, but I really don't want one because the residents' reaction is my prize," seventh-grader Madisyn von Frisch said.

"The presents will remind them of their childhood and all of the times they had as a kid with their family. So I think now, they'll feel at home like they did when they were a kid," added seventh-grader Christal Kislan.

The idea came to fruition in John McGee's computer science class. The initiative is to bring that Christmas nostalgia back for the elderly folks

"I told the students to think about how excited they are at Christmas time and think about how some of the residents may feel when they don't have family coming to visit them or their family lives too far away. It could bring on some major depression," McGee said.

When the senior citizens receive their presents from the students, the gifts will come with personalized notes. The three girls plan to put a special heartfelt touch on them.

"We want them to feel like a child on Christmas morning."

"We want them to feel like they're appreciated in this community."

"We want them to feel like they are a part of this community."

Letters were also sent home with kindergarten through eighth graders asking for even more donations for the senior citizens at Heritage Hill, so what started as an idea by three young girls could soon become nine grades wide.