BMS students spread joy

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By Jesef Williams

Smiles came from every corner of White Oak Manor on Dec. 12 as members of Buford Middle School's student council spread Christmas joy to residents of the assisted living home.

The group of about 20 students went from room to room to greet each resident and give him or her a holiday card. Some of the students also sang Christmas carols for them.

The visit, which lasted about an hour, was one of the student council's service learning projects.

"It makes me feel wonderful, and I'm sure the rest of them (residents) feel the same," White Oak Manor resident Mary White said while looking at her Christmas card she just received.

The students split up into smaller group to visit the rooms. Samantha Bryson, an eighth-grader at Buford Middle, was pleased to see how happy each resident appeared to be. She said she didn't realize how much of an impact she and her peers could make in a short time.

"That's what I like – seeing a smile on their face," Bryson said.

The group handed out about 100 cards in all. More importantly, they took time out to chat with the residents and let them know they are thought of and appreciated.

One of the students said a resident shed tears of joy from the visit. Another resident told some of the students that she will remember this visit for the rest of her life.

Sixth grader Blake Hodge said the experience gave him a good feeling.

"When you go around, everybody's feeling happy, and that's what the holidays are all about," Hodge said.

After visiting the residents, each student talked about what the experience meant to them. The group then went out for pizza and their Christmas party. Some of the students said they look forward to visiting the center again in the future.

"It's very important for these kids to respect and not forget their elders," Buford Middle literary coach Wendy Bartell said. "We wanted our Christmas party to be more than a party for us."

Contact Jesef Williams at 283-1152 or jwilliams@thelancasternews.com