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Features

Plainfield teacher supports homeless shelter through unique photography project

John F. Kennedy Middle School English Teacher Jennifer Gruca found a creative way to give back to the community during this time of need while still abiding by social distancing rules during the COVID-19 pandemic.
John F. Kennedy Middle School English Teacher Jennifer Gruca found a creative way to give back to the community during this time of need while still abiding by social distancing rules during the COVID-19 pandemic.

John F. Kennedy Middle School English teacher Jennifer Gruca found a creative way to give back to the community during this time of need and still abide by social distancing rules during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gruca, who is also a photographer, launched a “photography cause project” on March 25.

Along with her two sons, Gruca offered to drive around town to take pictures of families – from a distance, in her car – doing something fun, serious, classic or unique while simultaneously supporting Hesed House.

In trade, she asked JFK staff and families to donate to Hesed House, a homeless shelter in Aurora that will remain open during the COVID-19 outbreak. After snapping a few pictures, Gruca popped open her trunk to collect donations for the homeless shelter.

The project also offered a way for families to use their creativity and work together while easing the feeling of cabin fever, she said.

After driving around to 17 homes and collecting online donations, Gruca collected $830 and a trunk-full of resources for Hesed House.

Families donated items like toilet paper, disposable gloves, nonperishable food and bottled water.

To view photos from the project, visit jkms.psd202.org.

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