Eighth-grade students from St. John’s Lutheran School joined Heritage at Dover residents in celebrating National Compliment Day on Friday by saying “Thank You” to two local organizations.

Eighth-grade students from St. John’s Lutheran School joined Heritage at Dover residents in celebrating National Compliment Day on Friday by saying “Thank You” to two local organizations.

Three Heritage residents and five St. John’s students loaded up a Heritage bus with balloons, thank-you cards and gifts and stopped by Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital’s radiation oncology department and First State Animal Center and SPCA.

This is Heritage’s third time participating in a Compliment Day celebration. Heritage residents hand pick organizations they’d like to honor each year, and this year residents chose the radiation oncology department.

Cancer hit close to home this year, said Kyla Teed, activities director for Heritage at Dover.

“We [chose] the cancer center because we had two residents who had cancer and were very close to us pass a couple of months ago,” Teed said.

The residents and students delivered balloons, hand-knit scarves and a framed picture of residents knitting scarves. The mat that the picture was framed in was signed with messages from Heritage residents.

Helping out with Compliment Day felt good, said St. John’s Lutheran School eighth-grader Naquan Carter.

“I felt really appreciative for their selflessness and the way they take care of others,” Carter said. “I feel really good because I feel like I’m giving back for all of the things that I have that others don’t.

“This really gave me a chance to see the goodness in other people, because you don’t really see that anymore,” he added.

At the First State Animal Center and SPCA, the staff was presented with blankets and treats for dogs, a framed picture signed by Heritage residents and a painting made by Heritage resident Tom Brown. Brown, an animal lover, was happy to give back to the SPCA.

“It’s allowing us to say thank you to the people here who do the work for all these animals, who have been neglected at times. I hate to see animals neglected,” he said.

The residents and students brought roughly 500 dog treats with them and got the chance to visit with adoptable dogs. After the students and residents were done hand-feeding the dogs, they presented staff at the shelter with hand-written thank-you cards.

Having students and the residents of Heritage visit the SPCA was wonderful, said Sarah Harding, volunteer coordinator for First State Animal Center and SPCA.

“It’s nice to get complimented for the work we do,” Harding said. “The treats will make the dogs happy and they will last quite a while. The blankets we will use all year long.”

Aside from providing help and gifts to local organizations, celebrating Compliment Day is also beneficial to the Heritage residents, Teed said.

“All of the residents that volunteer with us, that’s what they used to do before,” Teed said. “We want to continue to keep that going. They all used to volunteer and are all very involved in the community. We want to keep them active. It’s very rewarding for the residents. They love to give.”