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Wednesday’s Warrior: Wallingford teen makes signs for healthcare workers, donates money local businesses

Wednesday's Warrior

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — To simple words that hold so much meaning, especially during a pandemic, are “thank you.”

“I really wanted to find a way to spread positivity throughout the community and help those who are giving all on the front lines keeping us safe,” said 16-year-old Mitchell Wollen, creator of Signs for Healthcare Heroes.

That’s when Wollen, of Wallingford, had an idea. He decided to make these signs as a way for people to express their gratitude for our everyday heroes.

“It really blew up,” he said. “We have to cut out each sign, sand it, paint it, then paint the thank you on it and then attach it to the post. They represent to me, you know, thanking the people who really work hard every day.”

Hearts for Healthcare Heroes started as a simple idea. It was a way to show respect to those serving on the front lines and a way to keep Mitchell busy now that school has switched to remote learning. Now, nearly 1,400 signs later, they line the streets of Wallingford and beyond.

“We’ve raised over $13,000, and with all this money, we’ve been putting it back into the community,” said Wollen.

That money has been spread out and donated to places like Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, new London Rehab and various fire departments — making him a warrior.

“It’s an indescribable feeling. I just want to say ‘thank you’ to everybody who has been working so hard and tirelessly during these challenging times, and I also just want to say ‘thank you’ to everybody who has come and helped me build signs. It’s been great.”

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