DUBOIS, Pa. (WTAJ) — During this holiday season, a teacher and 25 of her students in DuBois found a way to help local nursing home residents celebrate who couldn’t be with their families.
Students at DuBois Area High School, along with their teacher, Lauren McLaughlin, filled over 100 bags of basic necessities for residents at Christ the King Manor.
“A few students in my class, I teach seniors at DuBois, who were CNE’s, and they would talk about needs that the residents had, at the nursing home,” said Lauren McLaughlin an English Teacher at DuBois Area High School.
“Just based on that information, we decided to go ahead and start this program.”
This year is the second year of “Operation Adopt-A-Resident” where students give back to nursing home residents in need.
Usually, they deliver the gifts to the residents directly and have a cookie social, but this year, with the COVID-19 pandemic waging on, they needed to adjust.
“I posted on social media, and it was shared 59 times, it was shared by people I had no idea who they were,” McLaughlin recalled.
“It reached Brockway, and I got a phone call from Advanced Disposal and just different places where they said ‘We’ve seen this and would like to donate.”
These gift bags were delivered on December 21, to the nursing home.
Although the students were not able to personally deliver the bags, McLaughlin says residents were overcome with emotion when they received the bags.
“There were people who were overwhelmed emotion because they have not hugged or really been able to talk with their own families and to see their own families and they weren’t forgotten,” McLaughlin continued.
“This was huge, just really makes you smile because you made someone else smile.”
In addition to the gift bags, each person who donated included a handwritten Christmas cards for the residents.
McLaughlin says she specifically asked for this to ensure the residents felt a connection to our community.