Students Bring Easter Joy To Residents Of Powell House

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With the sun shining every day, our days are getting warmer. The grass is getting greener, and the flowers are beginning to bloom. It seems all the signs show that it is the beginning of spring.

Spring is the time when the sun brings warm light. Flowers grow and burst with color. Even the forests come to life. However, the earth's wonders and beauty are not all that come with spring. Smiles, laughter and joy come with the first holiday of the season.

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When you think of Easter, you may think of little children running around in your front yard searching frantically for plastic eggs filled with sugary sweets. The smiles on their faces are worth a thousand words. Yet, children are not the only ones who can enjoy the Easter holiday -- teens and senior citizens can, too.

Students Essence Reidy, Justin Bartlet, Sara Finch, Heather Barnett and Stevie Dunaway, from the Payson Center for Success High School, recently experienced another kind of joy with a little community service project worth more than a million words.

At first we students thought that we were creating just a little Easter project to get credit for school. Then, local businesses Dollar Tree, Safeway and Bashas' each contributed items for us to put together for senior citizens' Easter baskets.

On March 7, we worked as a team with the Rim Country Optimist Club of Payson to put together 65 Easter baskets full of colorful decorative grass, candies, books, soaps, and even a few TV Guides to deliver to the senior residents at Powell House and the Rim Country Retirement Community Apartments.

After the baskets were assembled and loaded into the vehicles, students were expecting to arrive at Powell House, deliver the baskets to the front door with a thank you and then leave. Like the saying goes, "Expect the unexpected." Instead, when students (including myself), along with the Optimist Club members arrived at Powell House, we were given the opportunity to hand deliver each basket to some of the senior residents. We didn't expect to sit down, chat with each of them and learn about their lives. hen we left Powell House smiles were on our faces as well as on the residents' faces. It was an experience we will always treasure.

At our next stop we had an idea of what to expect. We delivered the rest of the baskets to the Rim Country Retirement Community Apartments just across the street. A basket was given toach of the apartments' residents. Again we left knowing that we had shared good feelings with the residents.

Delivering the baskets to Payson senior citizens became an unforgettable experience. At both the Powell House and the Rim Country Retirement Apartments there were so many smiles on everybody's faces. By the end of the day it seemed like much more than just a service project earning credit for school. Our community service project became a remarkable experience for all who participated and all who received baskets. Smiles and happiness are engraved on everybody's hearts and will remain with them for years to come.

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