LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The Elgin High School Band stopped by the Lawton Fort Sill Veterans Center today to play some Christmas carols for the veterans.
Students and staff from Elgin Public Schools and even Santa and Mrs. Claus spread some holiday cheer Monday morning.
“We really wanted to bring joy to the residents since they haven’t been able to see their loved ones. For us, it’s just nice to be able to bring them that joy,” said Elgin sophomore Hayden Evon.
“Just knowing how the guests have been here since March and not being able to see family, it’s really special for us to be able to come here and celebrate the Christmas season with them,” said Elgin senior Anna Jones.
“These guys have been in quarantine since like March, they haven’t been able to see their loved ones a lot of them. Some like the yellow wing here have Alzheimer’s so I feel like playing this Christmas music for them means a lot,” said Elgin senior Rocco Ritter.
“This year has been especially hard for a multitude of families. So, if we can help them and make their day a little brighter, it can help them through the rest of their year,” said Elgin 8th grader Laela Begley.
The students walked to each wing of the veteran’s center, keeping their distance while playing Christmas carols for everyone inside.
“It’s important for us to give back to the community, especially to the veterans because of everything they’ve done for us and our past and they continue to do for us. We live in a great military community and these people out here at the veterans are near and dear to our hearts,” said Elgin teacher Anita West.
West said she hopes the music brought smiles to the veterans, along with staff members working around the clock to care for those veterans.
“They have poured themselves into the people out here and they requested for us to come out here and give back in a way that would just bring joy to the residents here. We’re trying to get this one right. If we get this one right, if this one wish brings joys to the residents out here then we’re going to consider Winter Wishes 2020 a success,” West said.
This event was part of the Elgin Middle School Winter Wishes Program, which has changed this year because of the pandemic. Each year, Elgin Middle School asks students to make wishes, both for themselves and for those around them. The students and staff then try to make as many of those wishes come true. This year, that process has changed.
“Sometimes you want to sit back and think the Grinch stole Winter Wishes. It’s different and we keep telling the kids that different is not necessarily bad, different pulls us out of our comfort zone. It’s humbling this year that one of the biggest wishes was for our students to be able to spend time with one another because that’s something we’re lacking right now,” West said.
West said they’re not sending students anywhere or bringing guests on campus this year for wishes but are still working to safely grant as many as they can.