In an effort to spread some cheer, Rutherford High School students made fall greetings cards for local seniors. Ninety handmade cards were delivered to the 55 Kipp Center in town to be distributed to the 75 seniors who live there. The effort was headed by Ms. Stephanie Smallstey, an Algebra II teacher, who wants to get more involved with helping local senior citizens. Students in her class, along with members of the RHS Unified and Interact Clubs, and several school secretaries all pitched in to help make and personalize the cards.
“We really wanted to make an effort to brighten someone’s day,” said Ms. Smallstey. “Our seniors are a vulnerable group, and we know they are struggling with being alone more than ever before.”
The effort was part of the “My Dear Friend” initiative, which challenges people to write letters and cards to seniors in local care centers. The mission to write 10,000 notes to isolated seniors this holiday season is driven by GlamourGals, a nonprofit organization that inspires and organizes teen volunteers to provide ongoing companionship and complimentary beauty makeovers to women living in senior homes. The organization currently has more than 100 chapters across the country in high schools and colleges, and Ms. Smallstey was interested in having RHS start its own chapter. However, due to safety restrictions due to COVID, the mission has been put on hold, with “My Dear Friend” now their main focus.
“I immediately loved this idea,” said Ms. Smallstey. “When I suggested the idea of writing cards, many of my students LOVED the idea as well. Through conversation with other teachers and club leaders, this idea spread through the school and next thing I knew I had gathered over 90 cards! I hope this little gesture shows the students just how easy and effortless it is to be kind.”