SEATTLE — Since the beginning of the pandemic, many kids and teens around the country have spent their days in isolation watching Netflix, playing video games or making Tik Toks.
13-year-old Emani Burkhart from Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood has focused on a different hobby: making tiny little stars out of colorful paper, which she then fills in 2 oz glass jars.
"I just like to make them to take my mind off things."
It has since become much more than a pandemic past time. She now sells the jars in her online shop, Wish Upon A Star Jar. She initially began making the stars pre-quarantine, but the shop is a new venture.
"I learned how to make paper stars at a friends' birthday party, and I just loved to make them," she said. "I loved that idea of turning that hobby into a business."
She and her mom fold all the bite-sized stars by hand.
"I thought it's a cool way just to spread some happiness during this pandemic."
When the protests surrounding police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement began, Emani decided she wanted to use her business to make a difference. 25% of all the proceeds from her star jars go directly to The Conscious Kid, a nonprofit organization that promotes racial equity and education in childhood development.
"The money that's being donated is going towards having books about race and racism into classrooms across the country," said Emani.
Emani's mom, Ester Burkhart is extremely supportive of her daughter's journey: "We all need a variety of authors and stories in our life. It makes it more colorful."
Overall, Emani has had a really positive experience making these teeny jars of joy.
"It makes me really happy to see people with their star jars. Stars are meant to be given with luck and love. It's also really cool knowing that I'm making some difference and some sort of change."