CT Checkup: ‘Spread the Love’ project in Windsor lifts spirits, connects community amid pandemic

Hartford

WINDSOR, Conn. (WTNH) — A new community project in Windsor is spreading the love during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Be patient. Be kind. Smile”: these are some of the messages on hearts making their way through the town of Windsor as a part of the ‘Spread the Love’ Project. 

“The idea was to just let them nominate a neighbor, a friend, a loved one, someone that they can’t get together with,” explained Shannon Blenis, Recreation Supervisor for the Town of Windsor. 

The project was started by Windsor Recreation and Leisure Services as a way to keep community spirits high during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Through an online form, people can request the hearts to be placed on the lawn of someone they love. 

Blenis says so far, the response is exactly what they had hoped. 

“Sometimes there’s people in the window that are waving,” she said. “We once had a mom come out doing a Facebook live as it was actually happening.” 

In the first 24 hours of announcing the project, five weeks’ worth of houses were on the schedule. With so many responses, some local boy scouts have now offered to help spread the love. 

“They needed the help and we were looking for a way to be helpful,” said Sam Caligiuri, scoutmaster of Troop 149.  

The hearts remain at nominated houses for two to three days before members of the troop or their sister troop collect and bring them to the next destination.

Caliguiri says the concept is simple, but the impact is undeniable. 

“It’s simple and yet that extra step we’re taking along with Youth Services to show people that we care and that people care for one another here can go a long, long way,” he said. 

Troop member Harry Sawka is excited to be making a difference. 

“It feels great to just be helping other people,” he said. “As a troop, we’ve been looking for a project to do and it’s just great that we can help out.” 

The project will continue throughout the summer and will be taking more nominations on the Windsor Recreation & Leisure Services Facebook page in the coming weeks. 

Blenis says she is thrilled that the community response has been so positive. 

“It just shows how much they really do care about each other and want others to know that these simple messages of “Smile, Be Patient, Be Kind,” she said. “They mean something.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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