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9-Year-Old Banishing Loneliness with Quarantine Crates

What started as a way to keep friends connected at the beginning of the coronavirus quarantine has turned into a passion project one 9-year-old girl hopes fills others up with happiness.

Katalina Kosciuk of Bartlett spends two to five hours a day creating Kat’s Quarantine Crates, hand-decorated shoe boxes filled with her own artwork, notes, activities, knickknacks and other fun surprises for senior citizens.

LOOK FOR THE HELPERS: Do you know a local that’s giving back during the COVID-19 crisis? Email us at editor@chicagoparent.com.

Inspired by how happy her boxes made her friends, she decided to help senior citizens after she and her mom, Lindsay, watched a news show about how isolated and lonely the most at-risk from the coronavirus must feel.

Hanover Township agreed to help deliver the crates along with meals to seniors in Bartlett and the township.

So far, Katalina has raised about $400 and residents are dropping off boxes and other items for her to use in her crates every day. She also has a GoFundMe page to help her do even more. 

“I love making the boxes. It’s super fun,” Katalina says. “I feel really excited and happy thinking about the boxes helping others.”

Even when the stay-at-home order is lifted, she says she plans to keep making the boxes. She even puts in a stamped envelope in case the recipient wants a new pen pal.

“I am so proud of her,” says her mom, who runs her own educational YouTube channel called Make it Fun Mom.

“A lot of kids can have the idea to do something nice, she sticks with it,” Kosciuk says. She’s especially proud that at 9, Katalina can put herself in someone else’s shoes.


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