Students Bridge Generation Gap With Flowers

February 14, 2018 07:39 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- Students had a classroom lesson come to life when they surprised seniors for Valentine's Day. 

"It's so fun to see smiles on their faces when you hand them a flower. Especially on Valentine's Day,” said 13-year-old Justin Steckman.


"We have students from Oakland Education Center who have been participating in a volunteer class, learning about the benefits of volunteering, learning about different opportunities in the community to volunteer,” said the employee Becky Gerdes.

“Hy-vee donated over 65 carnations, and the students then delivered the flowers to the residents of St. Mark's Living. We called it smiles and flowers."

There were plenty of both on Wednesday.

"The biggest thing was you had to have a smile” St. Marks’ Jessica Conway said. “Most folks here are alone on Valentine's Day, they don't have that special person to share with, so we become those special people.'

“Inner-generational” Becky Gerdes added. “Senior-citizens interacting with our youth."

“I heard a lot of them reminded them of their children or grandchildren, so it's very nice,” said 13-year-old Justin Steckman after having delivered a glass vase with a bright red carnation.

"Just giving a simple gesture like a flower and knowing that people do care,” St. Marks’ Jessica Conway said.

The Valentine’s day project could become part of a monthly effort on the part of the Oakland Center kids to do volunteer projects like read to seniors or call BINGO games.

"Doing good things for people doesn't just make them happy,” Justin Steckman said. “It makes you happy, too.”


Dan Conradt

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