High school students help 77-year-old woman decorate for Christmas

High schoolers help local 77-year-old in hospice decorate for Christmas
Posted at 10:44 PM, Nov 15, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Christmas came early for a 77-year-old woman in Tucson when a group of high school students made her one wish come true.

Christmas is Nancy Mattern’s favorite holiday.

“It just brings out the part of people that you don’t see the rest of the year,” she said.

She’s been collecting Christmas decorations for 40 years. But ever since she got COVID, she hasn't been able to put them up.

“It put me in this position, it affected my heart and my lungs," Mattern said. "And to be able to do the little things now is really hard.”

Nancy’s daughter, Trina Mattern, has a work injury that also makes it difficult to decorate.

“It's been very heartbreaking to see her so sad during the holidays because we couldn’t put up any decorations for her,” Trina Mattern said.

This year, eight of Santa’s helpers wanted to change that. They’re all a part of University High School’s Dreamcatchers. The group grants wishes for patients in hospice care.

“Working together to create each dream has been a really special experience to me,” said Kristin Jung, a Dreamcatcher at University High School.

The group put up all of Mattern's indoor and outdoor decorations.

“It's what Christmas is about, it's about giving," she said. "And to be able to have my Christmas decorations up is something I thought was over and done with, but these kids, with their big hearts, are making it happen.”

This story was originally reported by Perla Shaheen on