When meeting loved ones daily came to a halt as a result of the pandemic, 25-year-old JD Kus, who has Down Syndrome, decided to get creative.
JD reached out to hundreds of people on Facebook that he met over the years to ask them for their mailing address and with his mom, created, painted and mailed over 230 cards to friends and family all over the world to tell them he's thinking about them.
Apart from mailing cards locally, his cards went as far as Russia, Slovenia, England, and Newfoundland.
JD said it brings him great joy to send people cards who might be feeling down during the pandemic. “The cards bring up their spirits,” said JD.
Prior to the pandemic, JD worked part-time at East Side Marios, attended a daycare education program, participated in a cooking program and played for the Guelph Giants special needs hockey team.
“He had so many things in his life and then all of a sudden, nothing. We were looking for something he would enjoy doing and something that would bring him joy as well,” said Lois.
“Everything in his life came to a screaming halt.”
For JD, work and extracurricular activities were an important aspect of his life that allowed him to connect with other people.
When Easter was around the corner, he realized sending people cards will allow him to connect with people in a special way.
Together, the mother and son duo crafted different themed cards that included Harry Potter, happy faces, ice cream, balloons, horses and cupcakes. He also made special tea cards in the shape of a teacup that includes a teabag.
JD’s act of kindness has also been recognized by the Special Olympics, who created a video to recognize JD after his coach reached out to Special Olympics to let them know of JD’s initiative.
“It’s fun with my mom,” said JD who spends roughly a few hours three times a week making the cards with Lois.
“I love my mom.”
Lois said JD’s initiative was met with many responses from people all over the world who said the card made their day.
“People have been so kind in their responses. They’ve texted, they’ve sent cards back to him, someone sent cupcakes, a friend of his baked cookies for him,” said Lois.
JD will be receiving a $500 donation through RBC’s ‘Random Acts of Canadian’ program to support his initiative. His story has been selected to be featured on the Random Acts national campaign website which celebrates acts of kindness from individuals across the country.
“It was such a nice surprise,” said Lois adding that the $500 will be used for supplies and stamps to post more cards.
JD said he plans to continue making cards for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Halloween.