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Students make Valentine's Day cards for residents of care facilities

Posted at 6:21 PM, Feb 13, 2024

HELENA — For the past four years, elementary students have been making valentines for residents of care facilities around the community.

It all began with an idea from Hazel Noonan, during the pandemic.

“People in nursing homes and assisted living were literally dying from loneliness,” said Hazel Noonan, the Admissions Marketing Manager at Mount Ascension Transitional Care.

Students from Helena, East Helena and Clancy School Districts made about 1500 Valentine's cards this year.

“So, it just felt good to make some cards for them,” Gracie Garrison, a 3rd grader at Jim Darcy Elementary said.

Hazel’s granddaughters Gracie and Tatum delivered the cards with her to Edgewood, on Tuesday.

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“I think it’s great that people and young kids can learn how to be nice,” said Tatum Murray, a 5th grader at Four Georgians Elementary.

All residents of Edgewood will receive a handmade Valentine's card, just one way of spreading love this Valentine's Day.

“I saw a lot of smiling and laughing,” Tatum said.

“I just saw laughing when they read the jokes,” said Gracie.

Edgewood staff says their residents love to celebrate Valentine’s Day and receiving special handmade cards from area children each year has started a wonderful tradition.

“Our residents love Valentine’s Day because most of them have experienced a great love already,” Julia Morrow, the Executive Director at Edgewood Senior Living said.

Not only do the cards spread love, they also teach the students valuable life lessons.

“I think it’s really important to teach children compassion and empathy. I don’t know that all children understand what this stage of life is like and unfortunately, sometimes there is a stigma about growing older and it’s not exactly accurate,” said Julia.