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The final week of the fall semester is usually the busiest time of the year for Keystone College students. Most students have exams, papers, or projects that need to be completed by the end of the week. Plus, as the holidays approach, everyone is preparing to leave campus to spend the winter break with family and friends.

For Keystone sport and recreation management majors, as well as a host of other  Keystone students, the final week of the semester is also a chance make the holidays a little brighter for local senior citizens.

Wrapping Presents for 14 Years

For 14 consecutive years, Keystone students have taken time during the final week of the semester to gift-wrap presents for residents of nearby senior living facilities. The presents have been donated by members of the Keystone community and the local community.

This year, Keystone students spent several hours wrapping about 130 presents such as blankets, hats, shirts, and games. The students say spending their time helping others brings out the true meaning of the holiday season.

“I love doing this,” said Keystone senior Shyan James, Brooklyn, N.Y., who teamed up with her twin sister, Shanice, to wrap numerous gifts. “I know some senior citizens many not have a lot or friends and family to give them presents so anything I can do to help them makes me feel great.”

“I’ve done this for several years and I wouldn’t miss it for anything,” said Kevin Case, a senior from Sunnyvale, Calif. “I really enjoy working with my classmates to help local senior citizens.”

Keystone sport and recreation management students, under the direction of faculty member Terry Wise, initiated the program in 2004. For the past few years, Terry takes the presents to two senior living facilities in nearby Montrose where she visits regularly with her service dog, Lela.

“Our students know the positive impact they can have by doing seemingly simple things like donating and wrapping presents. They realize that giving some of their time, even during a very busy week, can mean a great deal to someone else. That’s what the holidays are all about.”

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