Looking to spread a little cheer on Valentine’s Day to her husband’s grandmother, and other residents of Kingsbury Place in Defiance, Kasey Hacker decided to start “a little fundraiser” on her Facebook page.

Hacker, who lives in Auburn, Ind., with her husband, Josh, and her children, Remi (6), Smith (4) and Lennon (1), works as an advanced team leader at Usborne Books & More, a publisher of children’s books. Knowing how difficult it has been to visit with Josh’s grandparents at Kingsbury Place (sadly, Josh’s grandfather, Jack Hacker, passed away on Dec. 31, 2020), Kasey decided it was time to take action.

“With the pandemic, it’s been hard to watch his grandparents just kind of be bored and stuck,” said Kasey. “I know I’ve gone a little stir crazy being at home most of the time, so it’s been breaking my heart all the seniors, and his grandma, Joan (pronounced Jo Ann), are missing out on activities and visits from family. So a couple of other team leaders and I (from Usborne Books) thought, let’s do some fundraisers to get some activity books to nursing homes.”

Kasey, a Hicksville High School graduate, went to her Facebook page in late January, set up a fundraiser pool and asked her friends to donate to the cause. In a short amount of time her “little fundraiser” raised $565, and with her company matching up to 50% of donations, she was able to purchase close to $800 worth of activity books and more for the seniors at Kingsbury Place.

“I purchased magic painting books (that use a paintbrush and water to make the picture appear), adult coloring books, stained glass coloring books (which seniors can hang up in their window and the light shines through), greeting cards (called Cards for a Cause) and magic painting Christmas cards,” said Kasey. “I got two boxes of the greeting cards so residents can send cards to their loved ones on their birthdays and holidays.

“I thought it would be nice for the residents to have the greeting cards and the Christmas cards right there so they could send them out all year long,” added Kasey. “It’s nice that so many people cared to donate. I know these books and cards will get them excited, involved in something and keep them active.”

The activity books and cards were delivered by Josh and Kasey Feb. 13, right before Valentine’s Day, and the two did get to see Joan in person.

“We FaceTime with Joan, but we’ve also been fortunate enough to see her (and Jack) a couple of times when my in-laws, Tim and Lisa (Hacker), picked them up and brought them to their house for visits,” said Kasey. “It was very nice to see Joan in person last Saturday when we dropped off the books and cards.”

With her first fundraiser a success, Kasey admitted this is only the start of her fundraising days.

“One of my favorite things to do is give back, that’s one of the reasons I started this job at Usborne. I love the fact they will match up to 50%, which is very cool,” said Kasey. “I’ll definitely do more fundraising in the future. This was my first one, and it went better than I hoped, so no reason to stop now.”

To learn more about Kasey, go to her VIP book group on Facebook called, Free to Flourish — Kasey’s Book Corner.

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