Tx. Students Make COVID-19 Care Packages for Seniors to Prevent Them from Feeling Isolated
A group of students in Texas has launched a care package project for seniors in their community to ensure that they don't feel lonely or isolated amid the coronavirus pandemic.
When the U.S. began to shut down due to COVID-19, Kareena Chawla said she and her friends instantly thought about their grandparents and the other elderly people in the community who would be forced to stay home for their safety, NBC affiliate KXAS reported.
"I truly feel for all the seniors in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, memory care centers, who aren't even able to step outside the facility," Chawla told the outlet. "It's heartbreaking and we really feel for them."
Putting their heads together, Chawla — along with hometown and college friends Shreena Bhatt, Amisha Kumar, Aritra Baidya, Anuj Gupta, Aryan Chawla and Charmi Modi — decided to launch COVID Check-In, a project that sends care packages to senior living facilities near Dallas.
The bags, which are lovingly put together by the students, include coloring books, puzzle books, colored pencils, snacks and hand-written notes, according to their GoFundMe.
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The students' hope is that the packages will help prevent the elderly from feeling isolated as their interactions remain limited during the pandemic.
"It's really easy for people to feel lonely during these times," Bhatt told KXAS. "Right now I feel like people's mental health is really impacted. People are isolated, lonely, and sad."
"It creates a connection between us and them," Bhatt continued. "We want to bring some color to their day, to their lives."
So far, the students have delivered packages to five facilities in North Texas, according to their GoFundMe page.
The first round included 80 care packages across three senior care facilities — Grand Brook Memory Care Allen, Grand Brook Memory Care Mckinney and Cariad at Northbrook — while their second one consisted of 60 care packages to BeeHive Homes of Frisco and Grand Brook Memory Care of Richardson/N. Garland, the page said.
Most recently, the students came together again to assembly more packages — this time, to be delivered to Grand Brook Memory Care of Allen.
After each delivery, Chawla said the facilities have sent photos of their residents smiling with the bags, which have since been posted to their GoFundMe.
"It was so heartwarming to see them on the couches sitting with their puzzle books open," Chawla told KXAS. "We truly care for them. We want to show our love, how much we appreciate them and that they're not forgotten."
And while the recipients of the packages are certainly grateful for the kind gesture, the students said they've found the experience to be equally as gratifying.
"We wanted to do something to give back to the community and we were able to do it assembly-line style," Chawla told KXAS. "We thought, 'Where can we help?' And these care packages, volunteering, this is something we can do."
Added Bhatt: "I feel like we're helping their mental health, but we're helping our mental health as well. I think we just like spreading happiness all around."
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