This is Mazda Cares. In light of COVID-19, we’re sharing stories of how our Mazda family is coping with (and even combatting) the crisis. Mazda is committed to helping communities in times of need. Our aim is to share stories that highlight our belief that what matters most is one another — because through the power of humanity and community, we can overcome any challenge.
When a young California-based couple realized they were expecting their first child, it meant good news for their entire community. John and Teresa Franzen decided to celebrate by giving something back to families in Belmont Shore, California.
News of the pregnancy coincided with the outbreak of COVID-19, so the couple decided to grab the opportunity to help local children with self-produced “Sprinkle Bags”, arts and creativity packs designed to entertain and educate families in the area.
Teresa sourced and created the packs whilst John, a district manager for seven Mazda dealers stretching from Long Beach to Ventura County, took on the task of distribution to the local neighborhood.
John picks up the story: “Once we realized we were expecting we wanted to give something back, especially to families in the area. My wife swiftly developed a website titled ‘Quincy’s Corner’ which is packed with activities, guides and free resources for adults and children to experience and enjoy together. So, it felt natural to bring this to life for our local community in Belmont Shore, especially during such a difficult time. You probably guessed it, but our one-month-old daughter is named Quincy!”
“We were even able to extend the idea to my brother and cousin’s family in Roselle, Illinois, as they both have young daughters, so it truly is a family affair. We’ve distributed over 100 bags so far, and the great thing is it keeps getting bigger. Since the bags are designed to be shared and ‘passed on’ to other families, it creates a domino effect.”
John is keen to give the credit to his wife. “She’s the brains behind the operation, while I’ve taken responsibility for logistics and distribution. It’s been a difficult time for children regarding the pandemic and uncertainty over schooling and this new norm. This is a way to ‘sprinkle’ a little kindness and bring some cheer to local communities in a fun but educational way. When the shelter in place order went into effect, our hope was to create a way to help families imagine, play, and bond together.”