A Vancouver Island family’s sidewalk chalk project is lifting spirits within the community.
Amidst self-isolation and social distancing practices that many have adopted during the COVID-19 outbreak, stay-at-home dad David Weaver and his daughters Kaila, 7, and Chloe, 4, have taken arts and crafts to the outdoors.
On March 18, the trio drew their first piece, a thank-you message to all the staff at the Campbell River Hospital.
“Thank you NIH,” the message in chalk on the Birch Street sidewalk outside the hospital says.
Weaver says that with all the cancellations happening, including school and birthday parties, his kids were starting to feel a little blue.
“They were starting to kind of feel a little bit down and getting into their own stuff,” he says. “Everything is starting to get a bit scary for them I think. So we wanted to go and focus on all the people that are out there helping.
“It was a good way to be able to talk to them about the positives that are still going on out there and show them and have them appreciate that you know, there’s other people doing stuff.”
Weaver says they have a few friends who work at the hospital and since the sidewalk along Birch Street is mostly isolated, it was a good place to start their ongoing arts and crafts project.
Their message hasn’t gone unnoticed.
In an email to the Mirror, Dawn Bryce, a health care assistant at the hospital and nearby Yucalta Lodge, says anyone she talked to who had seen the message was touched.
“We thought it was very thoughtful and it was appreciated,” she says. “[It] made everyone smile.”
Weaver has been sharing all the positive messages and reactions to his daughter’s sidewalk art with them.
“I’ve been sitting with them and going through any of the posts that I can find and reading the people’s reactions to what they did and making sure that you know, they take it all in and see what a great thing they did,” he says. “My oldest is constantly blushing when I read the comments to her, it’s quite beautiful.”
The Weavers don’t have any plans to stop. On March 19, they decorated the sidewalk outside the Willow Point fire hall with another thank-you message and their now trademark backwards ‘N’ and they have plans to leave kind messages for others in the community.
“It’s been giving us actually a bit of a plan for our day and it’s been giving them something to look forward to, knowing that they’re going to do small kindnesses,” says Weaver.
Bryce says it would be great to spread this message of kindness around Campbell River.
“I hope others see this and are inspired to spread this kind of message in our community,” she says.
Weaver agrees and says it would be “amazing” if more people joined in on spreading their own acts of kindness.
“I think it’s the one thing that we actually – that’s left. I mean typically we would go and, you know, get some cookies or some balloons or something for the staff, as we’ve done in the past, but that’s not the case right now, clearly,” he says. “I think there’s still lots that we can do as people to encourage each other and spread as much positivity as we can.”
If you’d like to follow the Weaver’s art adventures, you can find them on Instagram: @dave_at_home