Baskets full of cheer

Christmas Baskets for Heartland residents

By Lillian Bowe

PNT Staff Writer

Dora High students came to Heartland’s Health Care Center intending to deliver baskets of goodies. They also delivered a smile to Kay Hyatt’s face Thursday afternoon.

“The young people giving all of us these baskets is really nice to see,” Hyatt, a resident at the center, said as she looked upon the red basket was filled with fruit, socks, a comb and many other amenities that excited Hyatt.

Derinda Carter, Dora High’s counselor, and about 20 students from Dora’s junior and senior class presented the baskets to Heartland residents. She said she wanted the students to have a service project for this semester ,and they decided on giving Christmas baskets.

“We started this project as early as October 1,” Carter said. “Students would either bring items for the basket or donate money. Some would help put the baskets together.”

Fruit for the baskets was purchased from the Dora FFA chapter, which was selling it as part of a separate fundraiser.

The students split up into groups to hand out the baskets to the patients who could not leave their beds or were walking throughout the halls. To everyone they met in the halls, the students would say “Merry Christmas” or “Feliz Navidad.”

The group had 70 baskets in total, enough for a basket for any resident who wanted one. Some of the residents, like Nodie Hawkins, were presented a basket in the lounge. Hawkins was very happy to see soft socks in her basket and could not wait to try them on.

One resident, when she was given her basket, danced in her wheelchair to show how happy she was receiving the gift before repeatedly thanking them.

“We wanted to do this just to make someone’s Christmas,” said Abby Hart, 16, a junior at Dora.

Carter said while there were 20 junior and senior students who handed out the baskets, all members of those classes — about 30 in total — participated in some way.

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