by Kiara Posey
Love, and the scent of markers, filled Patterson Hall as nearly 50 students decorated cardstock with stickers, bright colors, and heartfelt messages intended for the senior citizens at Troy Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Last Thursday, students had the opportunity to make Valentine’s Day cards for residents of the nursing home during an event held by the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
“My grandmother was actually in a nursing home for a long time before she died,” said Caitlin Thomas, a junior elementary education major from Montgomery, Alabama. “I know kids giving them little notes, papers, and dropping by — any little token of appreciation really made her smile, so that’s why I came out.”
The card making event is a first for the sorority. One of the national targets for the organization is spending time and taking care of the elderly. This is why the AKAs decided to make Valentine’s Day cards for nursing home residents.
“We know people in nursing homes sometimes don’t really get to see their families, so we were gonna try to do something sweet for them,” said Mykael Ledet, a junior biomedical sciences major from Huntsville, Alabama. Ledet is also the Empower Our Families Initiative Chair for the organization.
Students listened to music and ate candy as they created heartwarming messages. Many of the cards included sentiments such as ‘You are loved, you are appreciated, I care about you.’
Tyuana Bryant, a sophomore nursing major from Dothan, Alabama, hopes the recipient of her card will read her notes on days where they feel alone and know that there is someone out there who supports them.
“I hope they know that they are loved and they’re not alone,” Bryant said. “There is someone out there that’s thinking about them.”
When making her card, Alisha Scott, a sophomore communications major from Enterprise, Alabama, took into consideration what she would like to receive from a loved one.
“I hope they feel joy, and I hope they feel loved after reading my card,” Scott said. Scott expressed wanting to do an act of kindness for someone else and not for personal gain.
After dropping off the cards, AKA members had planned to spend their Valentine’s Day having quality time with the residents of the nursing home, but were unable to due to COVID-19 restrictions.