LEHI, Utah (ABC4 New) – Instead of lamenting over one of her high school years being cut short or pouting about her high school play getting canceled, AnnaBelle McKinnon has taken it upon herself to brighten the lives of those around her during this time.

The 15-year-old Lehi resident came up with the idea of a ‘creativity crate’ amid the coronavirus outbreak to simply bring joy into other people’s lives.

“It is basically a crate that me and my mom bought and we filled it with lots of art supplies so people could come and take them and they could donate and get the art supplies that they need,” says McKinnon.

Courtesy of McKinnon family

McKinnon’s creativity crate is located at the Lehi Arts Center and is available for anyone to come and pick up some craft supplies to keep themselves busy while stuck at home. The crate is filled with everything from crayons and markers to stickers and paints.

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“Me and my mom were thinking of doing one of those little libraries but I decided that I wanted to do something that everyone could do because not everyone loves reading but everyone can get creative in their own way so I wanted to do something with that,” she says.

When McKinnon first came up with the idea she told family friends and that is when donations started to come in for the creativity crate.

“It first started and we told a bunch of our friends and a lot of them really liked the idea,” McKinnon says. “They just started donating money so that we could start it. So, we bought the crate and a bunch of art supplies to start it off and then people eventually just started donating money and donating art supplies.”

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Word of the creativity crate spread through social media and word of mouth and within three hours of the creativity crate being open, supplies were gone. McKinnon and her mother now check the crate two times a day to replenish the supplies. Mckinnon says that probably a couple hundred families have benefited from her project.

Courtesy of McKinnon family

“We have had a lot of positive feedback,” says McKinnon. “We have had families send us pictures of things that they have made and we have had lots of people donate. We have even had people we don’t even know donate and help so there has been a really great response.”

While there has been such a great response and so many people have visited her crate during the coronavirus outbreak, McKinnon wants to make sure that people know that she plans on doing this for a long time and that she wants people to keep coming back.

“We just wanted to bring joy in other people’s lives,” she says. “We are focusing on more of the good than all of the bad right now in the world. Honestly, it has helped me get through all of my stuff and has helped me keep my mind off of everything. This has been my main (focus).”

If you would like to donate to the creativity crate, you can Venmo McKinnon directly @AnnabelleMcKinnon or you can visit the crate at the Lehi Arts Center whenever you would like and leave supplies there.

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