Arcadia Residents Receive Extra Christmas Cheer Thanks to Local High School Student’s Idea

High school junior Chloe Nie and Arcadia’s Stacey Young with some of the cards made by elementary school students.

Residents, clients, and members of Arcadia Family of Companies in Honolulu received a special surprise this past Christmas season: handmade cards from local elementary school children, thanks to United Healthcare and the efforts of high school student Chloe Nie.

The project was the brainchild of Nie, a junior and National Honor Society (NHS) student at Honolulu’s President Theodore Roosevelt High School. One of the requirements of NHS members is an individual community services project.

“During the first quarter of school, we were given time to think and decide which project we would do, and I chose to do Christmas cards for seniors,” Nie said. “I wanted to do something that was doable for me, and I also thought that Christmas cards could make some seniors’ days, so I was set on this project.”

Nie recruited three local elementary schools to make the cards: Lanakila, Nu’uanu, and Kauluwela. All of the arrangements between Nie and the schools were worked out via email. “I contacted the schools through the ‘contact’ tab on their websites,” she said. If a school didn’t respond, she would email other schools. After the three schools were on board, the specifics were worked out. “It mostly consisted of back and forth emailing for information — what I’d like on the cards, when I’d pick the cards up,” said Nie.

Residents open their cards.

Stacey Young, chief operating officer for home and community based programs, was Nie’s contact at Arcadia. Young picked up 333 cards for Arcadia from the elementary school students — some even written in different languages — and the joy was palpable the day residents opened their cards.

Fittingly, Nie said that she plans on going to nursing school after she graduates. But, she said, “I’m still thinking about and open to changing which exact medical profession to get into, but I know I want to get into the medical field.”

After the cards were delivered, Nie reflected on the project. “I’m glad everything worked out, and I hope I was able to make some seniors’ days!” she said. “I hope the elementary schoolers had some fun making the cards as well.”

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