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Kendra Baker photos
The holiday season was in full swing in Middlebrook School’s media center on Monday, Nov. 30. With holiday music playing in the background, sixth graders made a variety of festive cards reading “Happy holidays!” and “Celebrate the season!” for this year’s Hearts and Crafts service project.

“We have been participating in this service project since the Shah family first brought it to our attention when we had the first of three Shah children attend our school,” said social studies teacher Luisa Nanos.

The Hearts and Crafts project was started eight years ago by Wiltonians Shikha and Isha Shah, who came up with the idea of bringing a smile to the faces of those who have to spend the holidays in hospitals.

The Shah sisters started the service project in 2008, having two third grade classes at Cider Mill create holiday cards. That year, 167 cards were delivered to patients at Norwalk Hospital.

With their younger sister Riya Shah, currently in fifth grade, now on board, the sisters deliver up to 1,600 cards to more than 10 hospitals in the tri-state area.

“These cards are delivered to the patients on their breakfast trays on Christmas morning,” the Shah sisters explained in an email to Middlebrook teachers this year.

With an increasing demand for the Hearts and Crafts cards, the Shah sisters said in an email to Middlebrook teachers, “we could not have done this without the support and efforts of the staff and students at Cider Mill and Middlebrook.”

Students are encouraged to make as many cards as they like using card stock and stickers supplied by the Shah sisters, as well as glue, crayons, markers and other art supplies available at school.

To ensure that the hospitals receive all the cards before Christmas Day, the cards will be picked up on Friday, Dec. 11.