Candace Mosteller’s husband, Josh, is among the Valley’s contingencies of essential workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus situation.
The young Troxelville mother of two was searching for a way to contribute to the cause from home, and stumbled onto an online group called Heart Hunters, which is trying to spread love and compassion during the outbreak with heart-themed decorations.
“Right now we are isolated in our home while people with essential jobs go out and risk their health and safety for us every day,” she said. “Giving thanks to those people is of top importance to me.”
Mosteller, who loves being creative, spearheaded four projects with her two young sons, Hudson and Holden.
“We did painting with tape that ultimately looked like stained glass. Then we did a big project called ‘Real Heroes’ with black cutouts to show farmers, police, military, the church, delivery drivers, nurses, doctors, EMS and firefighters,” she said. “I did individual hearts beside each job if I know someone personally who does it.”
The family also created a window display of matted hearts, and finally Mosteller’s favorite project, a large cross with a flowing rainbow of hearts.
“I have been doing art since I was little. I have since sold pieces, including some of my jewelry,” she said. “I felt led to share my talents and abilities to thank those who make daily sacrifices and also to share God’s love to those who may be walking or driving by and feel things are hopeless right now.”
Among them has been Mosteller’s neighbor Megan, a nurse with a father who is a delivery driver for Weis.
“She walked by and started telling me ‘thank you’ and sharing how much she appreciated seeing their names up on my window,” Mosteller said.
Among the growing number of Valley residents involved in the national “Heart Hunters” online movement is Sarah Bogush, of Beaver Springs.
“My friend showed me the Facebook page and I thought it was a great way to connect people from all over the world during this time,” she said. “Spreading the love and positivity really distracts from all the negativity going on right now.”
The message shared via each decorated window is critical during the uncertainty of the coronavirus situation, she added.
“Just seeing the stories and hidden hearts in everyday life is wonderful to see,” she said. “To me, it’s a reminder to let people know they aren’t alone during this time and that there is still good in this situation.”
Mosteller agreed, and through the project, has noticed another encouraging trend.
“So many more people are going out on walks,” she said. “People are finally leaving their televisions, getting off the couch and enjoying the fresh air.”
Mosteller has recently expanded the project.
“I have started making bags with similar designs and messages,” she said. “They include hearts and crosses small enough to mail for my friends and family who are not as artsy as me to tape up and encourage people in their own part of the region.”
For more information about the “Heart Hunters” group, visit facebook.com/groups/326431341651785.