Wait Until You Hear How This Teen Is Bringing Smiles To Those Who Need It Most
She wants her city's most vulnerable residents to know they aren't forgotten. Now others are following her lead!
With much of the country still under lockdown, it's been hard for families everywhere – especially those with loved ones living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. While restrictions have started to ease in some states, there are still strict rules prohibiting any outside visitors from entering most nursing homes in the country.
While Hita Gupta doesn't have a relative living in an elder care facility, she's been missing the friends she's made at a nursing home where she volunteers near her home in Paoli, PA.
Hita Gupta has been making care packages for elderly residents in her community. GoFundMe
The 15-year-old had been helping with various tasks like running bingo games and trivia for the residents, but the coronavirus put a stop to all that. Now she's worried for their safety, as well as their mental state.
"The seniors aren't able to see their families, so that's causing loneliness, boredom and anxiety," Gupta told CNN.
That's what inspired Gupta to start sending little bags to the residents through her non-profit, Brighten A Day. The bags are filled with fun things like crossword puzzles, adult coloring books and colored pencils.
The books help to keep the residents' minds occupied during the pandemic. GoFundMe
"The puzzle and coloring books will help nursing home residents stimulate their minds and keep them occupied," Gupta said.
The packages also include an encouraging, handwritten note written by her 9-year-old brother, Divit.
Each care package includes a handwritten note from Hita's younger brother, Davit. GoFundMe
So far, Gupta has delivered the care packages to 23 nursing homes in the Philadelphia area.
While she's been paying for the supplies out of her own allowance, Gupta recently started a GoFundMe and has raised over $3,500 so far to help grow her project.
Now that word about her care packages has gotten out, Gupta said she's been hearing from others who have started similar projects in their own communities.
"I've heard from a lot of people and people are sharing on social media," Gupta said. "They've reached out saying 'you've inspired me to do a similar project in my area.'"
Gupta doesn't want the seniors to feel forgotten since they can't see their loved ones during the crisis. GoFundMe
While it may be months before people are allowed back into nursing homes, Gupta isn't stopping her project until the crisis has ended.
"Loneliness is now a bigger problem than ever with our pandemic and social distancing guidelines," Gupta said. "We need to let nursing home residents know that they are not being forgotten, and that they are not alone. As a community, we need to work together to make seniors feel loved and valued. "
Gupta has inspired others in her community to start similar projects to help seniors. GoFundMe