Colourful displays of hearts are popping up all over, with people creating signs and messages of hope as a way of showing solidarity and support, as well as fighting back against despair.
An Ashcroft couple has been providing people on their street with painted wooden hearts to display in their yards, and they hope to see the movement spread throughout the community and beyond.
Heather and Terry Philpott live on Cliff Crescent in Ashcroft, and Heather says that one day she noticed that her neighbours across the street had a number of colourful hearts in their front window.
“I was curious about them, and thought maybe it was someone’s birthday,” says Heather. “I asked, and was told about the movement called ‘World of Hearts’. People were putting hearts up in their windows, partly as a sign of hope during this crisis, and also as a big thank you for emergency people and those on the front lines who are servicing us and keeping us going.”
The list of people the hearts are designed to thank is long, she says.
“Doctors, nurses, medical staff, ambulance service, fire departments, and also the service industries like our grocery store and drug store staff, not to mention the truckers that bring us the necessities. They are all risking their health to help us.”
It’s not clear where or when “World of Hearts” started, but it is a worldwide movement. Heather thought it was a great way to spread the word that people are thinking of others, and mentioned it to Terry.
“He said ‘Let’s cut out a whole bunch of wooden hearts and paint them and put them on stakes for our neighbours.’
“We had some rebar left over, so used that for stakes. Then we contacted as many neighbours on our street as we knew and asked if they wanted one.”
An obstacle was the fact that she didn’t know the last names of all her neighbours, so couldn’t look up their phone numbers, and couldn’t go door-to-door. However, they managed to contact many residents of Cliff Crescent and share the hearts they had made.
“Then we thought that other people could do this as well, and get everyone involved,” says Heather. “We thought we could line the bridge with hearts as a sign of appreciation to our local heroes. We could maybe even put one up near the sign where we put information about what’s going on in Ashcroft, and say that Ashcroft is part of the World of Hearts, as a way of saying thank you to our emergency people and everyone else.”
Heather says that everyone she has spoken to about the project is really enthusiastic and wants to join in. “We think it would be great to get the whole Village involved. It’s something positive in this time of worry and uncertainty. Let’s fill our town with hearts.””
Anyone who has bits of plywood, a jigsaw, and some time can make the signs, says Heather, noting that wooden stakes work as well as rebar. They can also be fixed to fences and poles, placed in yards or on balconies, and cardboard or paper hearts can be put in people’s front windows.
“Put them out for others to see. It would be such a cool thing to have the whole town covered in hearts, to show that Ashcroft has a heart. It makes a difference to shut-in people to look out their window and see all these hearts.”