As the mom of a five-year-old and as someone who’s family delivers countless cards to area nursing homes during the Christmas season with our Making Spirits Bright card campaign, this makes my heart explode with happiness.

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Five-year-old Aranya Chopra of Vestal is making news nationally today because of her huge heart and selfless generosity. What did Aranya do? She spent her winter vacation making 200 cards for Willow Point Nursing Home by hand and with loads of love.

In an interview with The Indian Express, the precious child said, “I just wanted to cheer them up because they cannot meet their friends and family because of the coronavirus.”

To hear of a child with a tender heart who gives of their own time to bring joy to others is the very best news there is and is proof that Aranya's parents are raising her right. What this child is doing now will follow her into adulthood and I truly believe that she will be a better person for her selflessness and that the world around her will shine brighter.  Simply put, the world needs more children like Aranya.

As my family made our rounds delivering our Making Spirits Bright cards this year, we were swallowed in sadness as we waved to residents from behind locked doors and thick glass windows. It was the first time since we started our campaign several years ago that we weren't able to personally hand out cards and explaining to my son why broke my heart.

I especially remember when we visited Bridgewater Nursing and Rehabilitation. As I looked up at the tall windows signs hung for those on the street below to read and I found my heart catch in my throat. There was no stopping the flow of tears. The signs read "I miss you," I'm so happy to see you," and "Sending my love."

Traci Taylor

Please, I'm begging you not to forget about the residents of our local nursing homes. Think of how hard this last year has been on all of us and then think of them. Alone, scared, worried, frustrated. No person should ever feel that way and as a community, we should be stepping up to spread love, not just during the holidays, but all through the year.

Not sure how you can help? One idea would be to call an area nursing home to see if there's a resident there who is especially alone or lonely and then ask if it would be okay to adopt that person. You could become their pen pal or drop off care packages or have your kids make drawings for them. Together, we can spread joy even in the darkest of hours.

READ MORE: Brighten Someone's Spirits in Three Easy Steps