“Cheer Bags” Delivered to Fort Smith Hospital Patients

Posted on: 12:19 pm, December 25, 2013, by

Some Fort Smith students spent their Christmas morning spreading holiday cheer to patients in the local hospitals.

This is the eighth year the group, led by Fairview Elementary School art teacher Lisa Sellers, has delivered “cheer bags” to hospital patients on Christmas Day. Sellers said the idea originated after visiting her mother who was a patient at Sparks during the holidays.

“It’s a quiet day,” said Sellers. “It’s a very different Christmas.”

The current and former Fairview students went room to room delivering the gift bags which included things like fresh fruit, a peppermint stick, a jingle bell, lotion and lip balm.

“Since I’m the art teacher, we have original artwork from a student in each bag,” said Sellers.

Jennifer Bates, a fourth grader at Fairview Elementary School said she wanted to make the patients “smile and have a good Christmas.”

Josh Waters, an eighth grader at Ramsey Junior High and former Fairview student, has been delivering gifts to patients for five years. He said even though he’s graduated from Fairview, it’s important to continue this Christmas tradition.

“Sometimes [the patients] don’t have family that come and see them,” said Waters. “This might be the only present they’re getting.”

Cheer bags were also delivered patients at Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith and to a few local nursing homes, according to Sellers. She said students and faculty host a variety of fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for the “cheer bags.”