"It's been really hard to not be able to see all of our family," JoAnna Garcia Swisher says. "We're just trying the best that we can to make it easier"

By Tomás Mier
April 15, 2020 11:00 AM
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JoAnna Garcia Swisher and the whole family are getting creative to bring joy to those around them!

The Happy Place founder and Reba actress shared an exclusive video with PEOPLE of her husband Nick Swisher and daughters Sailor Stevie, 3½, and Emerson Jay, 7 next month, adorably creating “smile signs” for their community amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We have been busy working on a ton of Happy Place projects over here at our house during this quarantine,” the 40-year-old says, referring to her digital blog. “Right now we’re talking about a lot of things to keep ourselves busy and sane and keep the kids entertained.”

“When PEOPLE asked me what we were up to, I thought that we should share the project that we’re doing today,” adds Garcia Swisher, who will next star in Netflix’s Sweet Magnolias, coming May 19.

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JoAnna Garcia Swisher
| Credit: Jim Spellman/WireImage

Using stickers, stencils and markers, the family of four (led by Sailor and Emerson) put together two large signs to brighten a neighbor’s day. One read, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” while another said, “Smile, U Got This.”

“We woke up the other morning and we had a sign in our front yard that said ‘Smile, you are loved,’ ” recalls Garcia Swisher. “And then it requested that the next night when it got dark that you pass it on to another neighbor. And I was totally blown away. It really made the girls’ day. They were so excited about it.”

Now, they are paying the love forward as they hope to bring joy to another one of their neighbors. “It’s really just about making memories and making people feel special,” she says.

“And the intention!” adds husband Swisher, 39.

JoAnna Garcia Swisher (R) and Nick Swisher with daughters Sailor and Emerson
| Credit: JoAnna Garcia Swisher/Instagram

Garcia Swisher then explained that one of the family’s “smile signs” would be heading to her grandmother’s assisted-living facility.

“It’s been really hard to not be able to see all of our family at this time,” she tells PEOPLE. “And so we’re just trying the best that we can to make it easier.”

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