Big Hearts Little Hands

Big Hearts Little Hands “FLOWERS OF LOVE” Senior Tea

Big Hearts Little Hands is a wonderful, PTO-sponsored service project/event put on by all the students of Willard school. It is a great opportunity to teach our students about the gift of service, and for them to connect with the older generation of our community. The students are the hosts, and our guests are senior citizens of the community, including senior relatives, friends, and neighbors of students, and also residents of area nursing homes (some homes even sent a bus).

Historically, every student was involved in some manner with different roles according to grade level — some directly interacted with our senior guests, and others worked “behind the scenes.”

  • First and fourth graders provided the choral music.
  • Pre-kindergarteners and kindergarteners decorated heart cutouts for the stage.
  • Second graders decorated thank you notes for sweet-treat favors, which are put together by Kindly Wizards with donations from local vendors.
  • Third graders played a prominent role, working in “shifts” as greeters, door holders, servers (assisted by parent volunteers), passing out favors and flowers, and helping our guests at the coat racks.

After the concert, our guests were directed to the gymnasium (you wouldn’t recognize it!) where they were seated and served hot tea, coffee, and a spread of delicious baked goods, baked by parent volunteers and donated by area bakeries. At the conclusion of the event, each guest was given a fresh carnation and a favor by one of our third grade students as they exited the gym.

2018 marked the 30th year of this event. In 2008, Madonna Weldon, the former Willard parent who founded Big Hearts Little Hands, passed away one month before the event’s 20th anniversary. Diane Mahoney was a Willard parent in 1988, and still remembers the PTO meeting where the program idea received a unanimous vote. When we are able to return to live events, we will continue to honor Mrs. Weldon’s memory with an engraved silver tea service set displayed at the center of the treats table.


We are excited to keep this signature event alive, after having canceled it for two years (2020-21 and 2021-22) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2022-23, because bringing hundreds of seniors into the school for a live tea is still not advisable, videos of students singing and speaking will be sent to local senior living homes, along with gift bags and notes, all decorated and written by Willard students.


Rachel Dardis
Beth Cohen
Megan Mackie
Paula Hoste

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