The holidays can be difficult for those who aren’t able to be with family — and the pandemic certainly has added to the hardships.

Sometimes, a little note of kindness can bring a moment of joy. That’s why students from Winona State University — and community members — gathered together safely to make holiday cards for residents at Sauer Health Care and Benedictine Living Community this year.

“You never know what makes someone’s day,” said student Jessi Norblom ’23.

Norblom is one of dozens of card makers that created a total of 109 cards earlier this month to give to local older adults this holiday season.

“They might not be getting a ton of cards,” Norblom said thoughtfully. “It’s nice to send a card to someone who might need it.”

Those handmade and decorated cards were created during WSU’s Winterfest through support from WSU, the Warrior Network and the Winona State Student Senate.

Not only did students sit down to fill cards full of stickers, drawings, and wishes for a happy holiday, but so too did community members and their children — ones even as young as 2 years old who scribbled across the paper with excitement.

When dropping off the 109 cards, WSU Student Senate president Kaitlin Mercier said she was excited to be able to give back to the community. Especially during this time, Mercier said she has respect for those working in assisted living homes.

“It takes a person with a big heart and a lot of love,” she said.

George Micalone, the Student Union Director, said he hopes for the card making event a yearly tradition. This is the second year of creating holiday cards, Micalone said. The first time was a couple of years ago and ended with 150 cards.

“Spreading holiday cheer is the best,” Norblom said with satisfaction. “Ever.