April 17, 2020

As COVID-19 wreaks havoc in our communities, Jeanne Baran and Branda Lin are easing the pain of homebound senior Irvine residents and the homeless by delivering food and inspirational messages.

For their efforts, CAIR-LA and the Boukai Family Foundation recognize them with the Everyday Heroes award, saluting the efforts of Southern Californians during these challenging times. Thanks to the Boukai Family Foundation, recipients of the weekly award will receive $500.

Initially, the duo coordinated a citywide food drive with their Families Forward project to feed families-in-need. More than 300 vehicles lined up to contribute food to those impacted by the stay-at-home orders issued recently to help halt the virus’ spread.

Baran and Lin also launched The Smiles Project Irvine to spread love with cards and personal messages for 500 of our homebound seniors.

“Since our first cardmaking project was such a success, we are continuing our efforts and plan on creating new projects as long as we are all sheltering in place,” Lin said. “We are now working on making cards for our healthcare heroes!”

Cards for healthcare workers will be collected at the Heritage Park (14361 Yale Ave.) and University Park (4512 Sandburg Way) libraries in Irvine from 3 to 3:30 p.m. Friday, April 24. For details, visit The Smiles Project Irvine on Facebook or Instagram.

For questions, you can contact them at branda.lee@gmail.com or jtbaran999@gmail.com.

Every week, CAIR-LA is highlighting the contributions of everyday people in Southern California making heroic efforts during this pandemic. To nominate someone to be recognized, visit: bit.ly/cairlaeverydayheroes