HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) – If you’ve driven around Homewood lately, you’ve probably seen blue hearts hanging in store windows. They are symbols of support for people experiencing grief during the coronavirus pandemic.
Community Grief Support is the organization behind the effort. They offer free grief counseling to people in the greater Birmingham area. The say they’ve seen a lot of it during the pandemic, and it’s not limited to people who have lost loved ones to COVID-19.
“We also feel like feel like we’ve been helping people who are just grieving from being in the lock-down – people who are kind of having the same grieving experiences because they can’t see loved ones or they’re kind of isolated and they haven’t been able to talk to friends and family for a really long time,” Community Grief Support junior coordinator Gabriella Falco said.
Staff members wanted to find a way to show those in grief the support they have in the community, so they created blue hearts and distributed them to businesses around Homewood. Now, you’ll find them in store windows in downtown, Edgewood and beyond.
“We just wanted something to show that we’re here for you, and your neighbors are here for you, we’re in this together,” Falco said. “So I just thought it’d be something really sweet that when you’re just going through the neighborhood you see a blue heart, something familiar.”
The inspiration for the initiative was a story out of the UK, where a girl created yellow hearts for people to put in their windows if they’ve been affected by the pandemic. Falco said Community Grief Support created the blue hearts to support people struggling during the pandemic, but they’ve also become a symbol of unity during a time of civil unrest.
“This is just something that all the business owners can just put out and say, ‘I’m here for you, we’re doing this together, things are really uncertain right now, but we’re still your neighbors and we can still help each other out,'” she said. “So it’s just something to make people feel a little more comfortable and unified.”
But the blue hearts aren’t just for businesses. You can download your own from Community Grief Support’s website.
- Here’s when you can see the ‘Christmas Star’ for the first time in 800 years
- Teacher wins 2-year, rent-free lease in Kansas City luxury apartment
- US adds 245,000 jobs as virus threatens the economy’s slow comeback
- Trooper-shooting suspect killed in NY shootout with US marshals
- Texas high school football player attacks referee