Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer

Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer

Elementary school students from Soldotna Montessori and residents from Heritage Place, a continual care facility for seniors and the disabled, met Friday morning to add an extra special component to the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank’s Thanksgiving food boxes.

The first-, second-, and third-graders worked with Heritage Place residents to color Thanksgiving-themed paper pages to wrap around the boxes, which are distributed to food bank clients and include items essential to making a Thanksgiving meal.

“We’re adding everything they need for dinner, and then we put these pages with it as like a placemat or a center decoration,” Greg Meyer, director of the food bank, said. “It just makes it more personal.”

Meyer said the food bank has been making Thanksgiving food boxes for families in the community for about 20 years or longer.

Heritage Place’s activities coordinator, Aud Walaszek, said students from Soldotna Montessori have been visiting residents at Heritage Place about once a month for four years. She said Friday’s Thanksgiving event was one of the many community projects the group does together.

“Today we’re focusing on adding some color and love and our well wishes to the recipients of the food bank,” Walaszek said. “The food bank generously provides Thanksgiving dinners in a cardboard box to those in need, and we kind of wanted to wrap that box in love. We are making a wrapping paper-type greeting card for those people.”

Walaszek said the residents participate in projects, both in-house, or through a partnership with local nonprofits.

“The activities department at Heritage Place has a mission of creating a nurturing environment and also to help each resident find purpose in their daily life no matter their circumstances,” Walaszek said.

Mary Nel Larson, the president of the resident council at Heritage Place, said her favorite activities are the ones with the kids.

“They want to participate with a lot of us, a lot of the time,” Larson said. “It’s a ton of fun. We have games with them and they have a good time doing that…They are so good to us. They are so polite and so nice. That’s what a lot of us need, just a little lift. We don’t get to see our grandkids enough. They take that place.”

One of the missions of Soldotna Montessori is to connect the students with the community in various ways. Jennifer Hubbard, a first-, second- and third-grade teacher at Soldotna Montessori, said the shared activities at Heritage Place have been a great opportunity for her students.

“We initially talked to the kids about grandma and grandpas needing a place to stay when they get a little older, and this was a great opportunity to try and bridge that gap,” Hubbard said. “We also talk a lot about community service and how we can be helpful to others so that we work together with these projects that benefit not just our class, but the residents of the community in general. We talk about what we can do to give back, and how you’re never too young to be a part of something bigger.”

Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer
Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer
Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer
Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer
Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer
Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer
Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer
Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer
Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer
Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer
Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer
First-, second- and third-grade students from Soldotna Montessori work with residents from Heritage Place to create Thanksgiving art and notes for Kenai Peninsula Food Bank’s Thanksgiving boxes on Friday in Soldotna. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

First-, second- and third-grade students from Soldotna Montessori work with residents from Heritage Place to create Thanksgiving art and notes for Kenai Peninsula Food Bank’s Thanksgiving boxes on Friday in Soldotna. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer

First-, second- and third-grade students from Soldotna Montessori work with residents from Heritage Place to create Thanksgiving art and notes for Kenai Peninsula Food Bank’s Thanksgiving boxes on Friday in Soldotna. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer

First-, second- and third-grade students from Soldotna Montessori work with residents from Heritage Place to create Thanksgiving art and notes for Kenai Peninsula Food Bank’s Thanksgiving boxes on Friday in Soldotna. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer

First-, second- and third-grade students from Soldotna Montessori work with residents from Heritage Place to create Thanksgiving art and notes for Kenai Peninsula Food Bank’s Thanksgiving boxes on Friday in Soldotna. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Students work with Heritage Place residents to spread Thanksgiving cheer

First-, second- and third-grade students from Soldotna Montessori work with residents from Heritage Place to create Thanksgiving art and notes for Kenai Peninsula Food Bank’s Thanksgiving boxes on Friday in Soldotna. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

More in News

Image via Alaska Board of Fisheries
Statewide shellfish meeting rescheduled

This comes after the board bumped back its Southeast and Yakutat shellfish meeting

A State of Alaska epidemiology bulletin can be found at https://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/pages/default.aspx.
State updates STI protocol after reported drop

The state has been experiencing an outbreak since 2017

The Kenai Fire Department headquarters are photographed on Feb. 13, 2018, in Kenai, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Police identify remains found in burned car

Kenai Police and Fire departments responded to a car fire at Beaver Creek in Kenai on Jan. 7

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy addresses members of the press on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. (Screenshot)
Dunleavy talks upcoming session, lambasts media

In a press conference Monday, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy discussed his goals… Continue reading

Courtesy photo / Juneau Raptor Center
This golden eagle was rescued by the Juneau Raptor Center over the summer after being found weak and thin.
Rescue center, birdwatchers look back on 2021

Juneau Christmas bird count was way down this year.

This satellite image taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), shows an undersea volcano eruption at the Pacific nation of Tonga Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. (NICT via AP)
Tsunami advisory issued after eruption

An undersea volcano erupted Friday near the South Pacific island of Tonga, triggering concerns of damaging waves across Pacific coastlines

Flowers bloom at Soldotna City Hall on Wednesday, June 24, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Multiple public works projects underway in Soldotna

Soldotna City Council received an update on eight different projects

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Hospitalizations rise as state reports increase in COVID cases

There were a total of 112 COVID-related hospitalizations in Alaska as of Friday

Most Read