Nogales High School students involved in the Future Health Leaders club took their holiday spirit to assisted living homes and senior centers in Nogales, where they delivered care baskets for elderly residents a few days shy of Christmas.

The club’s effort began with a gift donation drive that helped the teens prepare baskets that included face masks, hand sanitizers, hot chocolate and cookies, as well as socially interactive games such as Loteria and Bingo.

The care baskets were then delivered to residents of Cimarron Assisted Living, Bowman Senior Center and Karla’s Home Care on Tuesday, Dec. 22.

“During this time of need with COVID, we want to let our elders know how important they are to us,” program coordinator Lupita Gonzales said in a news release. “Our students have mentioned the importance of giving, especially during hard times, and the importance of having mental health as a priority. And that is what we are doing now.”

The FHL club members wanted to learn more about the needs of the elderly during the pandemic, and were concerned for the residents’ mental well-being, Gonzales said.

The teens also wrote letters to their elders, sending them messages of motivation, as well as educational tips on flu prevention.

Club member Pamela Salcido, a senior at NHS, said she enjoyed being involved in the community throughout the process.

“During these difficult times, giving back to the community and to the people who need it the most is a gratifying feeling,” she said.

Future Health Leaders is a part of the Southeast Arizona Area Health Education Center, and aims at helping high school students learn more about health professions.

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