They say creativity takes courage.
And sometimes courage means finding the self-discipline to sit down and handcraft hundreds of cards by yourself, even if you're only 5 years old.
That was the task burgeoning artist Aryana Chopra set herself.
Her goal was to hand design New Year's cards for residents of a nursing home in Vestal, New York. Aryana, whose father is a doctor on the front lines of the pandemic, is well aware of the virus and the seriousness of quarantining, so this was her way to spread a little holiday cheer.
Spreading joy during a quarantine
"I got an idea of making cards for the people in the nursing home who can not go out and meet their friends and family because of the coronavirus," said Aryana.
Once her mother, Shachi Chopra, saw that her daughter was hard at work designing the cards, she called a local nursing home and asked how many residents lived there.
"They told me the number was 200. I went back to Aryana and asked, 'Will you be able to make 200 cards? She was like, 'Yes, Mommy, I can do that."
"For her, at a little age, to be thinking this way, my heart totally melted."
Breaking the piggy bank
Dedicated and determined to meet her end-of-year deadline, Aryana crafted the cards whenever she had time — and took the project very seriously. Instead of just signing her name, each card features unique drawings: rainbows, snowmen, kids holding gifts and special New Year's messages.
The whole project took her almost two weeks to complete but like any striving artist, once the 200 cards were finished, Aryana wanted to take her project further so she went for broke — literally. She broke open her piggy bank and spent the money she had collected over the course of the year to buy a gift for the nursing home.
"She wanted to get a cake but the cake was not allowed because of the pandemic," Shachi said. "So we got a Santa Claus statue and a big vase."
The cards and gifts have brought a lot of joy to the residents of Willow Point. One resident wrote a thank you letter to Aryana saying, "It sure put a smile on my face and a tear or two in my eyes."
Aryana hopes one day soon, "once the coronavirus goes away," she will be able to visit the nursing home and its residents. For now, she's counting her own blessings.
"Kids, they think about what do they get in return, but she was like, 'No, mommy, you know what blessings are, they work wonders. If 200 people are going to bless me, that would be the biggest New Year's gift for me.'"
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