Local resident and mom Angela Leavens created ‘We Care Cups’ for local healthcare workers.

Mother Teresa once said, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one come to you without leaving happier.”

Angela Leavens of Brandon would agree with Mother Teresa because she, too, wanted to make sure all who come in contact with her leave happier. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Leavens wanted to do something to cheer up the local healthcare workers who are part of the front line in fighting the virus.

“Seeing all of the news stories and social media posts about what our healthcare workers are dealing with made me have so much sympathy for all they are doing and sacrificing,” Leavens said. “It made me wonder, what can any of us do for them really besides stay home, and though there isn’t much else besides that, so, I wanted to give them something that would hopefully make them smile at least for a minute.”

Leavens created ‘We Care Cups’ for local healthcare workers.

“The We Care Cups include a reusable cup, a pair of LuLaRoe leggings, a $10 Starbucks gift card, a face treatment, a hand-sewn mask and a thank-you note,” Leavens said. “In the note, I express how grateful we, the community, are for all that they are doing and sign it from ‘All of us in your community.’ Though I am the one assembling the cups, it has really been a community effort because I cannot afford to fill them on my own as I am feeling the financial effects of COVID-19 myself.”

Leavens enlisted her friend and local realtor Jessica Lingscheit to help her.

“Jessica is a realtor in Tampa who is also very skilled with a sewing machine,” Leavens said. “She is sewing masks to help act as at least some form of PPE masks for the nurses the cups are going to in the community.”

The response Leavens has been getting from the community healthcare workers has been astounding.

“So far we have been able to give the first round of cups to nurses at TGH and hope to share them at St. Joe’s for our next round,” Leavens said. “My friend, who was able to get the cups to the nurses, said they were crying when they got them. One message she forwarded to me said, ‘I had the worst day today. Please thank your friend for the kind gift as it was the only good part of my day!’ Another said, ‘It was nice to be appreciated.’”

Leavens hopes she can continue to spread happiness to the healthcare workers who need it most.

“I want our healthcare workers to know that though they may feel alone, they really have a whole lot of us who are carrying them in our thoughts constantly and that we are indebted to them,” Leavens said.

If you would like to help Leavens make more We Care Cups, she has set up a Go Fund Me account at https://www.gofundme.com/f/we-care-cup.

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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.