Brandon seventh grader raises money to give gifts to veterans in nursing homes

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Many of you have probably given Christmas presents like these: new iPads, a bigger TV, and some nice jewelry. How many of you have given someone the gift of your time? That’s exactly what a seventh grader in Brandon is doing.

13-year-old Jadyn Ramazani isn’t a magician, but it’s pretty easy for her to perform a magic trick. In a matter of moments, she can turn everyday socks into smiles. This was evident when Jadyn greeted Willy Hagen, a resident at like Willy Hagen, at Helping Hand Assisted Living in Brandon. Hagen is a veteran who served in the Navy. Jadyn is visting him and bringing him some Christmas presents. His goodie bag includes socks, candy, and oranges.

“I love being able to give to people and being able to see a smile on somebody’s face. That’s just really fun,” Jadyn said.

This mini-Santa Claus doesn’t need Rudolph to lead the way, because Jadyn let’s her heart guide her. When visiting her grandpa here, she noticed veterans could use some more visitors.

“They’re a very important part of the United States of America. Just because they protect us. I think we should be able to do something for them,” Jadyn said.

That’s why she decided to start a business. She bakes Spritz cookies.

“They’re almond-flavored. They’re really good,” Jadyn said.

She sells the cookies, and uses the money to buy socks and other things. Now she goes up and down the halls, basket in hand, to give gifts to area veterans in nursing homes.

“It’s kind of like a source of hope for them. Someone is actually thinking of me,” Jadyn said.

Hagen thinks a lot of this gesture.

“It’s very remarkable. That’d she’d come up and give you socks. Give you a piece of fruit and stuff,” Hagen said.

It’s not just about the gift exchange for Jadyn and Hagen. It’s amazing how something ordinary like a sock can lead to the extraordinary: friendship.

“It’s just great to have a visitor come in and say hi and how are you and how are you doing and that whole thing,” Hagen said.

It doesn’t take a magician to know how to tap into the magic of Christmas. Like Jadyn shows us, all you have to do is just be a friend to someone else.

Jadyn: “Can I get a hug, Willy?”
Hagen: “Sure!”
Jadyn: “Ok!”
Hagen: “Thank you, dear.”
Jadyn: “You’re welcome.”
Hagen: “Merry Christmas.”
Jadyn: “Merry Christmas to you, too.”

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