Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Schoolchildren surprise hundreds of area nursing home residents with gifts, carols

WACO, TX – More than 700 local nursing home and assisted living residents got a special gift under the tree this Christmas and many were entertained by some socially-distanced carolers thanks to an Adopt a Grandparent program started by Mary Kay consultants in the Waco area seven years ago.

Cari Edison is a Mary Kay consultant who helps organize the effort.

She says what started as a small project grew this year into an event which encompassed eight facilities between Waco, McGregor and Clifton and at one stop included 30 school age carolers holding signs outside the residents’ windows.

“This project is such a great example of how doing something small when put together with others can turn into something big,” Edison said.

“And blessing others will always be a bigger blessing to you than it is to them.”

Edison says the ‘grandparents’ are adopted by friends and customers of the local Mary Kay family of employees.

This year the residents were given wrapped gifts of lotion and fuzzy socks.

In past years the deliveries were made in person, but the threat of COVID-19 changed this year making all but one stop a drop-off and go.

Lake Shore Village invited the group to sing to the residents.

Nearly 30 school-age kids accepted the invitation, many of whom had helped make signs and cards at school after Edison reached out to the art teacher at South Bosque Elementary and the Community Outreach teacher at Midway Middle School.

“Both willingly had their students make handmade cards we could deliver with the gift this year to add a little personal touch since we couldn’t be there to hand deliver,” Edison said.

While the socks and lotions were a welcome surprise, so were the kids’ smiling faces.

“The kids did a great job singing through masks and they opened blinds as we circled the building singing ‘Deck the Halls,’ ‘Rudolph,’ ‘Frosty,’ ‘Joy to the World’ and ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas,’” Edison said.

“It may have looked different this year, but it was still a huge success,” Edison said.

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