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Portland students make seniors' day 'a little brighter'

Students from St. Brigid School marched around The Park Danforth waving, smiling, and sending out love to residents many whom feel isolated

PORTLAND, Maine — On Giving Tuesday, elementary students from St. Brigid School in Portland paraded around The Park Danforth, a senior living facility on Steven's Avenue. 

The students excitedly waved, smiled, sang to the residents watching from their windows and balconies.

Students from the school have been coming to see residents there for years, but, as with a lot of things, the pandemic forced the school to get creative while still allowing the students and the residents to make that connection.

"It just lends itself very easily to do a project like this where we can reach out to the greater community and share what we are teaching our kids and let them put that into practice," Ellen Couture, director of admissions and marketing at St. Brigid, said. 

The kids were happy to show some kindness to their grand-friends, many of whom are feeling lonely and isolated.

Credit: NCM

"Right now it gives them something else to focus on, some happiness when sometimes there really isn't a lot," Anne Marie Brett, life enrichment coordinator at The Park Danforth, said. "Especially coming into the holiday season it's so important where they may not be able to see their little ones, their grandchildren and great-grandchildren that they are still able to take part in something as joyous as this."

Credit: NCM

The students proved that even a small gesture can have a big impact. 

"They just have such a great spirit and are so thrilled to make somebody's day a little brighter," Couture said. 

Credit: NCM

The students at St. Brigid, a non-profit school, have been focused on showing kindness and building a community for most of the month, including a food drive to benefit Sacred Heart/St. Dominic Food Pantry in Portland that generated nearly 800 pounds of food donations, a toy collection for Opportunity Alliance, and windshield poetry where middle school students left inspirational messages on windshields in area neighborhoods. 

Credit: NCM

Couture said they hope that by sharing our story, "it will inspire people who believe in our mission to share their support so that we can continuing providing the education that makes St. Brigid School so special."