Hearing seniors her grandmother’s age would be spending Christmas without family made 12-year-old Gianna Padilla a little sad. "I love my grandmas very much," said the Mesa Linda Middle School student. "This kind of reminds me of them." Thinking about people alone during the holidays prompted Padilla and her classmates in Joanna Khoo’s 7th grade class to get busy. Soon they, along with other students and staff in the Adelanto Elementary School District had amassed more than 130 holiday cards to give to seniors in Fontana and the high desert.
"The holidays can be a gloomy time of year for seniors, especially if they are alone for the season," explained Khoo. "I wanted my students to practice empathy and kindness by making holiday cards to brighten up someone’s day." "There are some seniors that don’t have any family," office manager Aurelia Renteria said. "With the cards, they feel special." Khoo’s students seemed to understand. "If I had to spend Christmas by myself…I would feel kind of sad," said Ian Beauregard, 12. "If someone gave me a handmade card, it would make me very happy." The cards had exactly that effect on seniors in the past, Renteria said. "The seniors were so happy," she said, "They loved them."