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#MakeASeniorSmile fights sadness during pandemic

#MakeASeniorSmile fights sadness during pandemic

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A group of local kids in a nonprofit called Helping Ninjas started a campaign to make senior citizens smile amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Founder Leo Berry, a 10-year-old from Carmel, started Helping Ninjas three years ago to spread awareness to kids his age of things like endangered species, pollution and food insecurity. Now, he and his fellow Helping Ninjas have turned their sights on supporting the elderly.

The Helping Ninjas decided to make cards and send them to nursing homes under quarantine.

“We are making cards for senior citizens because they can’t have visitors and we really want to cheer them up because without them we wouldn’t be here,” said Sawyer, a Helping Ninja.

“I miss my grandparents and I want everyone to be happy,” said Layla, another Helping Ninja.

“I want them to know we care about them and that during the coronavirus, they’re not alone,” said Berry.

Unfortunately, a lot of the nursing homes are closed, even to letters in the mail. So being about 10 years old and very tech-savvy, the Helping Ninjas set up a hashtag and asked kids around the country to post their art online, so they could be digitally shared with seniors.

“We’re asking them to make cards letters and videos and other stuff too and they can post it on our website or on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook,” said Layla.

“It’s really important to let seniors know we care about them,” said Berry.

The Helping Ninjas say here’s where kids at home come in. They want all the children stuck at home right now to sit down, make some art, and “make a senior smile.”

They’re asking that you just use the hashtag #MakeASeniorSmile on social media with a picture of your art, and they’ll take care of making sure a senior sees it.

You can also check out other kids’ art on the Helping Ninjas website.

There are a few local senior centers currently accepting mail, including Avon Health and Rehab, located at 4171 Forest Pointe Circle, Avon, IN 46123. A representative says the letters will be disinfected and then dispersed after a five-day waiting period.

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