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Black River Falls High School senior collects donations for two area nursing homes

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) – A high school senior in Jackson County is looking to give back to her community.

She is doing so by focusing on residents living out their golden years.

“I’m hoping this would really spark some interest in the community and have people thinking about how they can reach out and help them have some more happiness,” said Kaylee Youngthunder.

The Black River Falls High School student said the school challenges them to pursue a passion project.

“And I thought I wanted to do something that didn’t necessarily relate to me, but relate to my community. And, so I wanted to leave our community with another impact on our nursing homes,” said Youngthunder.

Throughout her life, Youngthunder has spent time giving to nursing homes in some way.

Whether it was performing dance recitals as a kid, making cookies with residents, providing them quilts and even helping decorate during the pandemic.

Now, she is collecting supplies for activities residents at Pine View Care Center and Meadowbrook at Black River Falls can do daily.

“We’re asking for board games, playing cards, bingo prizes. Like, little treats, Little Debbie snacks. They love those,” said Youngthunder.

There are two drop-off locations. One at the school and the other at Reflections on Water at 212 Main Street, Black River Falls, WI.

“I was really excited about it and proud of her,” said Tara Hoffman, Youngthunder’s mom.

She works in healthcare herself, and sees the importance of keeping nursing home residents active.

“It’s really important stimulating their minds and being able to continue to do things. Being able to do things in a community setting with everyone,” said Hoffman.

For Youngthunder, it is about making sure part of the population she had spent a lot of time helping over the years are taken care of.

“I think they’re pretty excited that our community is coming together for them. And, that everyone is thinking about them and wanting them have some excitement. Because, I know the day to day can get kind of repetitive,” said Hoffman.

One last effort before heading off to college where she will pursue a nursing degree.

Donation boxes will be at the locations until Tuesday, April 2.

Youngthunder said if there is a need for more time, the boxes will stick around for longer to collect more donations.

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