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Local babysitter offering free services

MISHAWAKA, Ind. --- Many parents in the community are setting up desks in their own homes to make sure they have what they need to work from home and some are even out of work.

That is what inspired a local woman to step up and lend a helping hand by offering free babysitting services for anyone who cannot afford it.

Lori Hart decided she had wanted to pay it forward.

“Because I know how stressful this can be for others,” Lori Hart said, who is offering the babysitting services.

She started offering her babysitting services to any parents in the community who might just need a helping hand amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

If parents cannot afford to pay—well, she is doing it for free.

“I just feel like it takes a little bit of a load off the parents and it just helps to know that their kids are safe,” Hart said.

She is also providing nutritious home-cooked meals to keep the children full why they are in her care before they dive into interactive learning activities.

“We’re doing our ABC’s, we’re doing our 1-20’s, we’re learning how to write our names,” Hart said.

And of course—they are also playing games.

“They just, they have a fun time,” Hart said. “They’re interacting very well together.”

Hart said she has been monitoring the kids’ health and is asking parents not to bring their children if they are sick. Hart also increased the frequency of cleaning throughout her home and on surfaces and toys the children often touch to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Hart is also using her services to pay it forward even further. Hart plans to have the children decorate posters to place outside of nursing homes after she spoke to an elderly woman who is feeling lonely during the outbreak.

“She was crying because she can’t get visitors right now,” Hart said. “Her family can’t even come to see her.”

Hart wants to make sure both the elderly and the entire community is taken care of.

“We need to come together,” Hart said. “We need to have respect for others and we need to help others out.”

Hart plans to continue the babysitting services for as long as parents might need before children head back to school.

Hart will set up an interview with parents who are interested in using her babysitting services to see if the pair would be a good match, but she does not plan to turn anyone away during the outbreak.

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