A California teacher has been working to spread some smiles to local care center residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
Andrea Johnson, a sixth-grade math teacher in California and consultant at Usborne Books and More, just finished her Magic Painting Book Drive that she created for the four local care centers within the California city limits.
The two-week book drive was online and people were able to either place an order or leave a cash donation. With Usborne Books and More offering a 50-percent match for book drives, and thanks to the generosity of the California community, Johnson was able to raise $615.97, which provided 76 magic painting books. She later purchased 120 paint brushes to go with them.
Johnson has been with Usborne Books and More since March 2016. The company has different ways it is able to help organizations through fundraising and book drives.
Though Johnson's idea for the fundraiser generated from another Usborne consultant, it was the stories from her friends that encouraged her to do it, she said.
"I have close friends that have family members who are in the care centers and in listening to their stories of not being able to go see their loved ones or hug them, they have to talk to them on the phone, through the window and just knowing how hard this has been for everybody," Johnson said. "I know people who work in the care centers and having to comfort residents because they think their loved ones don't love them anymore, when you're dealing with patients that have dementia and Alzheimer's, they don't know what's going on. It really tugged at my heartstrings."
Johnson said she is very grateful to the California community. It helped her surpass her goal of $500 and helped brighten up these dark times.
"I kind of dubbed it the 'community cares' donation," Johnson said. "It just means a lot that everyone kind of jumped on board and was either willing to purchase books to enjoy at home or make a cash donation to support the residents getting those books. That meant a lot. It was a very humbling experience to be able to help in this way."
Prior to this fundraiser, Johnson donated 100 coloring books and 100 baggies of crayons to New Beginnings Church for them to give out during their Wednesday distribution. After accumulating random orders over the past year, she finally cashed them in and was able to give back to children in the community.