Decatur Student Delivers 1,140 Handwritten Holiday Cards To Seniors

Decatur Student Delivers 1,140 Handwritten Holiday Cards To Seniors
Stephen Decatur High School junior Hannah Mourlas delivers cards she and fellow students gave to long-term care and assisted living facility residents at Gull Creek. Submitted Photos

BERLIN – More than 1,100 holiday cards were distributed to local nursing homes and assisted living facilities as part of a high school student’s collection efforts.

On Dec. 18, Stephen Decatur High School junior Hannah Mourlas delivered just over 1,140 holiday cards to residents of Gull Creek Senior Living Community, Berlin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and The Woodlands. The distribution effort, she said, followed a holiday card drive she organized through her school.

“I know that it’s hard now for students to get their service learning hours in for school,” she said, “and I wanted to put together an opportunity for my peers to get the hours they needed.”


Hannah Mourlas is pictured with the cards prior to distribution.

With permission from the school’s service learning coordinator, Laurie Chetelat, Mourlas said students were able to earn an hour of service learning credit for every 10 holiday cards they made. In just two weeks, 14 Decatur students – along with some of Mourlas’ neighbors and family members – had gathered enough cards for long-term care and assisted living residents, as well as for patients at Atlantic General Hospital.

“I just wanted to collect enough for the residents and staff of the nursing homes I was going to be going to,” she said. “I went to Gull Creek, Berlin Nursing Home, the Woodlands and I took extra ones to Atlantic General Hospital.”

While she is an active volunteer in her community, Mourlas said this was the first service project she had organized. But she added she would do it again.

“It definitely exceeded my expectations,” she said. “I think it was special for them to receive handwritten cards from people in their own community. Since they can’t have visitors, I wanted to give them some Christmas cheer.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.