For the holidays, an act of service and love
Students from The University of Texas at Arlington took a break from final exams to make holiday greeting cards for residents of Dallas-Fort Worth-area senior living facilities and nursing homes.
The College of Education’s Student Ambassadors group came up with the idea of giving back this holiday season, and they were joined in the project by college staff and faculty, including Dean Teresa Taber Doughty.
“Giving back is at the heart of what Mavericks do,” Doughty said. “It’s important for our students to learn that giving back and supporting our neighbors is a significant factor of being part of society at large.”
Alessandra Cisneros, an ambassador and UTA junior studying ESL for early childhood education, championed the idea in part because her grandfather lives in a senior living facility.
“This project is something that touches my heart and I think it’s very important,” Cisneros said, as her eyes welled up and her voice began to break. Doughty gave her a comforting hug.
“I remember when my grandfather was in a nursing home, and it was hard to go in there and see him,” Doughty said to Cisneros. “I feel the same way you do.”
Cisneros explained that her grandfather had always lived in her house with her family, and now they visit him every day at a senior living facility.
“The other residents see us visiting my grandpa, so I have been trying to talk with other residents too, so they have visitors,” she said. “This project is very near and dear to me because I just want to make them all have a smile on their face.”
The group also plans to deliver other gifts to the seniors, including games, puzzles and necessities such as socks.
“I really hope that this can become a tradition for UTA’s College of Education, even after I graduate,” Cisneros said.