Students deliver Valentines to the elderly
February 16, 2011 04:00 am

BHHS students Steven Nagel, left, Haley Abbot, middle and Dorothy Shull deliver Valentine’s Day cards to residents of Good Sam. The Pilot/Arwyn Rice
“Young people have no respect for their elders,” the adage goes. “They’re  rude and don’t care about anything but their iPods and cell phones.”

Three Brookings teens challenged these often repeated complaints about their age group Tuesday. Dorothy Shull, 15, Haley Abbot, 16, and Steven Nagel, 15, visited several area care homes to distribute hand-made Valentine’s Day cards to residents.

At the Good Samaritan Society’s Curry Village, Shull gave Sybil Powers a hand-lettered Valentine.

“It means a lot that they think enough to visit us,” Powers said.

Mack Smallwood, 87, received a card with raised Valentine’s Day symbols.

“What is that?” the blind man said, running his fingers over the hearts. Smallwood smiled, as his fingertips outlined the shapes on the card.

Shull organized the group, and plans to do more for the community in the future.

“Our group is called ‘We can make a change,’ ” she said.

Future projects for the group include picking up trash and helping with meals for the homeless, Shull said.

The group may use their work for their senior projects, she said, but at this point it’s simply their way of giving back to the community.

Shull says she was inspired by pop singer Justin Bieber’s song, “Pray.”

“I got a vision, to make a difference, and it’s starting today,” Bieber sings in the 2010 hit song. “Pray”  highlights world suffering and advocates for charity and volunteerism.

“He asked us to make a change in the world,” Shull said.