For the past four years, Garces Memorial high schoolers have thrown a party for the seniors at Park View Julian Convalescent Hospital.
The project was started by Bakersfield native and Garces graduate, Matthew Flanagan.
“After working in this environment, you see how lonely it can be, especially at the holidays,” said Flanagan, who’s a registered nurse.
This cause is personal to him.
“My grandmother was one of the most special people in my life, and I miss her so much,” he said. “(Seniors) kind of are forgotten aspects of our community, especially in long-term care.”
His project ensures every single resident at the nursing home gets a gift and to top it all off, a holiday party with Santa.
When Flanagan moved to Los Angeles, he passed on the project to current Garces students in the Interact Club.
“I’m grateful that this did not end just because I’m not in Bakersfield,” he said. “To walk in and to not only see such a beautiful environment but feel the positive energy and to know that these students are so excited to do this and contribute and be part of making a difference—it gives me joy all the way around to see them so happy.”
You can donate to the cause here. Any extra money will go toward the Garces senior prom.