Scott Emmons, a local writer and content creator, worked with a friend to develop a coloring book to help children process the COVID-19 pandemic. After exploring the superhero angle with his friend, Emmons decided he wanted to take a more practical approach.
Emmons spearheaded the creation of a COVID-19 coloring book that reinforces the importance of the basics such as washing your hands and keeping your distance, titled “What You Can Do About COVID-19.” While the goal of the book is to help children understand what part they can play to combat the coronavirus, it also gives parents the tools they need to reinforce those messages — and gives kids stuck at home something to do.
“[Kids] also just need encouragement,” Emmons said. “This may be a tough time, it may be kind of scary, but there are things you can do to make it better.”
Emmons worked alongside 11 other artists to complete the project, and uploaded a downloadable version of the coloring book on Gumroad, a website that allows artists to sell their work directly to their audience. So far, Emmons said there have been a little over 900 downloads.
While the coloring book is free if anyone wants to contribute in some way Emmons suggests making a donation to an organization near and dear to him: The Mission Project, a nonprofit organization that “enables adults with developmental disabilities” to live and work independently, according to its website. Emmons’ son, who is on the autism spectrum, is a participant at The Mission Project and has been living independently for the last few years as a result, he said.
“It’s just been a great program for him,” Emmons said. “Like any nonprofit, The Mission Project especially needs help right now because of the COVID-19 crisis, [it’s] kind of cancelled fundraisers and that kind of thing. I wanted to put [the coloring book] out as a free thing, contribute if you want to, but if you can, make a donation.”
The Mission Project Development Director Hillary Thomas said the nonprofit is grateful to the artists for bringing attention to the local nonprofit community. Major events and fundraisers have been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus, meaning The Mission Project has lost revenue streams that fund its daily operations, she said. After launching the last weekend in April, the coloring book has raised around $750 for The Mission Project.
“We have gifts coming in from random places from all over the country,” Thomas said. “People that just love the book and want to be supportive of the author’s wishes to have a donation come in.”
To download the coloring book, visit Emmons’ Gumroad entry here, and be sure to enter “0” as the fair price. Donations to The Mission Project are not made via Gumroad, but can be made here with a note about the coloring book.