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Hita Gupta, a sophomore at Conestoga High School in Berwyn, a Philadelphia suburb, started a movement brightening days at nursing homes, one coloring book and puzzle at a time, using her own money.
"Nursing homes throughout the United States are limiting seniors’ interaction within the building and visitors are also prohibited, which is causing feelings of loneliness and isolation for many residents," Hita told Fox News. "To cheer seniors up and let them know that the community cares about them during this difficult time, I am sending uplifting handwritten notes and packs containing a puzzle book, a coloring book, and colored pencils."
She packs one puzzle book, one coloring book, and a pack of colored pencils/crayons, and her 9-year-old brother, Divit, writes an uplifting note to include in the packages.
Hita said she got the idea for the project because she has volunteered at a nursing home since her freshman year. She has reached a total of 16 nursing homes so far.
Her nonprofit, "Brighten A Day," has been raising money to send "love, hope and joy through cards and gifts" to more than 50 places in her home state, as well as West Virginia, Delaware, Ohio, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. It has reached 2,300 kids and seniors in children's hospitals and retirement homes.
Now people can send or request cards on her organization's website and she is trying to raise money through a GoFundMe page called: "Help Elderly at Nursing Homes Fight Coronavirus!" As of Friday, it has raised more than $1,700 of her $5,000 goal.
“One of the biggest challenges has been things being out of stock. I initially started out by thinking I was going to send hand sanitizer," she told FOX 29. "That’s been very hard to acquire, that’s why I switched to keeping them occupied.”