St. Theresa of Avila Beta Club students volunteer their time at the Gonzales Healthcare Center

Aanifa LeBlanc
Cori Joffrion, Lauren LeBourgeois and Lexi Decoteau participate in a game of bingo with some of the residents.

December 23 turned into a festive day for residents of the Gonzales Healthcare Center, as students from St. Theresa of Avila’s Beta Club paid a visit, bringing Christmas cheer. 

As part of the club’s requirements, Beta Club members must have a certain amount of service hours for the academic year. As part of this semester’s service project, the students picked the center, as they felt they could do a lot of good there.

“I think it’s important to spend time helping people,” said Lauren LeBourgeois, a sixth grader at the school. “The elderly in our community are important, and I wanted to help make their Christmas a happy one.”

The students spent the morning decorating the residents doors with festive paper, and hand-written greetings. They also read to the residents, and played a few games of bingo.

Anna Belle Borque, a resident, was thrilled with the visit. “This means so much to me. I love children so much. Christmas is all about them, so for them to give their time to us is so special,” she said.

Resident Andrea Addison agreed with Borque, and felt the visit brightened her day. “It’s been lovely for the children to be here with all of us. I like that they came to spend time here. We feel very appreciated,” she said.

The Gonzales Healthcare Center welcomed the students, and staff assisted them in planning activities.

Paige Robinson, a speech therapist at the center, felt the experience had been a positive one.

“This means so much to all of the residents, but especially those who don’t have a lot of visitors. The visit by these students, and the time they spent here, has really warmed the hearts of the residents,” she said.

Volunteering time is a welcome gift at the center, and Administrator Candi Rogers is pleased with the support the community regularly shows.

“It’s truly wonderful the amount of community support we receive,” she said. “The residents light up when people come and give their time to them. The attention from the community is a wonderful way to lift the spirits of residents here. We are lucky in that we have a great amount of family support, but when visitors come to simply show they care, it means so much.”

Although Christmas is traditionally the time of giving, let’s all try to take a tip from these students, and remember to brighten the days of those in our community all year round.

Anna Belle Borque gets some assistance from Madeline Marchand.