Residents of The Woodlands and Forestview senior villages in Wheatfield teamed up with students from Niagara Charter School for the second year in a row to spread the Christmas spirit through "The Giving Tree."
The program began with third grade students and their teachers taking a field trip to the residents' community rooms at Woodlands and Forestview on Forest Parkway in Wheatfield on Dec. 8. The students of teachers Sparkle Yates, Linnea DuFour, Karen Gants and Judy DiCamillo spent time with the residents singing Christmas carols, giving gifts and displaying for the residents their newfound knowledge of the "Nutritious & Delicious" program they have been studying that encourages healthy eating.
The students made healthy snacks to share and engaged in some new exercise routines. Each student also treated residents to handmade cards, with a recipe for "Ants on a Log."
On Dec. 20, Woodlands and Forestview building manager, Jessica Gordon, along with residents Dottie LaDelfa, Jean Link and Joanne Sestrich, traveled to Niagara Charter School on Lockport Road with "The Giving Tree" donations that the residents of both communities had collected.
The residents accumulated more than 53 toys - enough for every child in all the third-grade classes. The gifts were distributed to the children and were met with hugs and huge smiles.
The Giving Tree was established in 2010 by the residents of The Woodlands and Forestview.
"The residents get really excited to participate in this project. It's our second year, and it's met with such enthusiasm, I can only see it continuing to grow," said Gordon. "I'm so proud of our residents that they open their hearts to such a worthy, local cause."
The Woodlands and Forestview Senior Village is a 55-plus young, independent living community, developed and operated by Calamar.