The ‘Heart’ of the community

Some say the Celebration Foundation is the heart of our town. I believe we can say, after this period of time, that this town has heart. Or more than 1100 hearts proudly displayed.

As news began to develop in March about the pandemic, as Executive Director of the Foundation, I reached out to community partners to ask, “How can we help? What do you need?” One of my first calls was to AdventHealth Celebration. With a stay-at-home order in place, there was no grandiose display or gathering that we could plan outside our hospital to show our support of the ones on the frontlines— our healthcare workers.

So, it all started with a sign. One sign. One saying.

It turned into 50 lawn signs with 50 inspirational messages that our AdventHealth team would see as they entered the hospital campus going to work and leaving work. Every day. The message that I hoped to drive home was that they were appreciated, not only during this time, but every day.

You matter. Every day.

Grateful for your healing hands. Every day.

We see you. Every day.

One sign has a red heart with no words that sends the message, “You are loved. Every day.” The red heart has become a symbol to place on your front door to show healthcare workers that they are loved. A sign of unity.

So, a creative Foundation team staff member named Jill sent me an email with the idea to just print the red heart sign and sell it, AT COST, to our residents to place in their lawn, window, porch/balcony, or front door, so as our essential workers drive to and from work, they will know that they are loved by the entire town. That was in April.

More than 1100 signs have been printed, sold and planted throughout the town. Neighbors send to neighbors through the Celebration Foundation website (www.celebrationfoundation.org) and one resident bought for every home on their cul-de-sac. It makes my heart smile as I drive through the streets of our town and see the “love” that has united us all; that all the essential workers from our healthcare workers, our first responders, our teachers, our grocery store workers, and our delivery drivers know they are loved. Every day.

Then Celebration Sanitation had the idea to have the heart sign driving through town on their truck. Literally, spreading the love. Hearts are everywhere you look in Celebration.

An ER nurse put the heart signs into words in a Facebook post, “I was really tired heading into work one night. Then I saw all the signs along the way and I smiled.”

Additional donations have been given to the Foundation when residents have purchased their signs. Those funds have supported our essential workers with lunch deliveries to healthcare workers, first responders and sweet treats throughout the town to essential workers to show the “love.” Those funds have been poured back into our local businesses.

Our community is full of love. We all knew it and now we can see it. Every day.

 

By Kathleen Sipio, Executive Director of the Celebration Foundation

This article appears in the July edition of the Celebration News 

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