Dowagiac family donates hand-crocheted hand sanitizer holders to Timbers of Cass County

DOWAGIAC — Timbers of Cass County staff members received a donation of “monstrous” importance Friday morning.

The nursing home and rehabilitation facility, located at 55432 Colby St., Dowagiac, were given 140 hand-crocheted sanitizer pouches from Lula Jane’s Germ Monsters. The sanitizer pouches, which are designed to look like monsters, can be found in an assortment of colors and styles.

The donation was several months in the making, with Germ Monsters wanting to donate sanitizer pouches to Timbers after the staff cared for the family’s grandfather, Boppa Jack, before his passing in April.

“The Timbers has been incredible for our community,” said LuLa Jane’s mother, Tanya Kimmey. “Our Boppa Jack was here at Timbers’ facility, and they gave the most incredible care and love and light to him during his final days. We couldn’t be here because of COVID, and so they are hands and heart. LuLa Jane and her crew decided they wanted to do something really wonderful. She called Timbers to ask how many employees they had and they said 140, so we had to get busy.”

Germ Monsters is a family affair, with LuLa Jane, 8, her mother, and the rest of her family pitching in to produce the sanitizer pouches, which have been purchased and sent all over the world. It was created as a way for Tanya to ensure her children always had their hand sanitizer on hand during the pandemic and to stop them from going through their backpacks looking for it with dirty hands.

The sanitizer pouches are available for purchase on the Germ Monsters Etsy page. According to Tanya, volunteers, donations and Germ Monster purchases helped make the Timbers donation a reality.

“We raised enough money and got enough time and work to do the 140, which was incredible,” Tanya said. “We even had people donating their time from all the way down in Florida crocheting and sending things to us. We even had a local business Miss Michele and Co placed our largest order, over a hundred Germ Monsters, to help support us here as well as the students at her dance studio. I think the community just all came together. My kids loved to share the love and not the germs, and realize how important it is for us to give back.”

In addition to the Timbers, LuLa Jane’s business recently donated sanitizer pouches to Pride Care Ambulance in Dowagiac.

“They helped with Boppa Jack as well,” Tanya said. “They’re out there doing the work every day, so we just sent off a big donation to them and all their employees as well. We’re trying to make sure that we keep paying it forward.”

Tanya said the Germ Monsters project has brought her family together following the loss of Boppa Jack. As the demand for Germ Monsters continues to rise, the Kimmeys are already thinking about their next big project.

“If we can keep doing good, keep Germ Monsters going and supporting a good habit to share love, then we’re gonna keep doing it,” she said. “As a family, it’s kind of brought all of us closer together. I think in a time like this, it’s easy to be disjointed from people but you find a lot of love and support when you’re doing good work.”

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