What started as a trio of friends just wanting to help spread holiday cheer turned into a grassroots community effort delivering gifts to nearly 70 veterans and elderly in Hays.

Three friends — Janice Koshiol, Judy Koerner and Nancy Leiker — wanted to deliver some Christmas care packages to home-bound veterans, Koshiol told The Hays Daily News. They contacted the local VA clinic and were given names of 11 veterans. From there, the project grew to include home-bound elderly and those in nursing homes. A post in a Facebook group led to donations toward 68 bags with items including toiletries, socks and a deck of cards. The women delivered the gift bags along with lap robes to the veterans and residents at Hays Good Samaritan Center with the help of Girl Scout troops 11203 and 11266 and Boy Scout Troop 101 on Dec. 15.

Koshiol said they hope to make their “Christmas Magic” an annual event.