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Arizona high school students make dreams come true for elderly hospice patients

Arizona students help elderly hospice patients
Arizona students do good deeds for hospice patients 01:29

It's the season of giving, and a group of Arizona high school students have taken that idea to heart. In Tucson, the University High School Dreamcatchers are making dreams come true for elderly patients in hospice care.  

Whether that dream is a family dinner, a makeover or their latest endeavor: putting up Christmas decorations just the way 77-year-old Nancy Mattern always had, but could no longer do.  

It's something the students have done repeatedly over the past two years. They do not receive class credit, but they've gotten a crash course in the impact that acts of kindness can bring.  

"I feel like a lot of people my age don't really think about what seniors are doing and what they're going through," dreamcatcher Abigail Jung told CBS News.

Fellow dreamcatcher Hannah Lui said, "I think a lot the time we aren't just giving back to these patients, but we're also receiving life lessons." She told CBS News one of those lessons has been learning to "appreciate simplicity."

Hospice coordinator Belinda Motzkin Brauer bridges the gap between students and patients. She said the students "have no real knowledge of how huge this really is, what they're doing. And it is huge."

"This isn't about making a last dream come true," she said. "This is about bringing quality to the life."

Brauer even received a note from Mattern about the students who helped with her tree.

"They made my Christmas and I love every one of them for doing this," Mattern wrote. "Tell them to keep up their good hearts."

Jung said she is "glad that [Mattern] knows that we did it for her, and that we value her."

Kristin Jung, another student, said that she thinks "having that connection between the younger generation and the older generation will just make our society a better place."

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