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John F. Kennedy MS teacher supports homeless shelter through unique photography project

John F. Kennedy Middle School English teacher Jennifer Gruca and her sons drove around town taking pictures of families on their front porches and collected donations for Hesed House, a homeless shelter in Aurora, on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Gruca collected $830 and a trunk full of recourses for the homeless shelter, which will remain open during the COVID-19 outbreak.   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 Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

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, which 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.

“I am attempting to tie my three passions together; being a mother, teacher, and photographer, while also supporting our community and our most vulnerable neighbors—our friends at Hesed House,” Gruca said.

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

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, non-perishable food and bottled water.

Please visit www.facebook.com/iconicimagesbyjen to see Gruca’s pictures from this project.