Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Neighborhood finds safe, creative way to interact during outbreak

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BATON ROUGE – The hunt is on. In an effort to fight the sluggishness of staying at home, neighborhoods have found new ways to get moving while spreading joy. All it takes to participate is a sharp eye.

“You do whatever you can to make everybody a little more comfortable during this crazy time,” Julie Crow said.

Crow, along with many of her neighbors in the Shenandoah area have hopped on a new trend; displaying teddy bears in window sills for kids to find while walking or riding their bikes. These activities started through a Facebook page encouraging people to interact with each other while still keeping their distance at home.

Crow though, took it one step further.

“I went out and gathered all of the bears that we have and I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be cool if kids could come down the street and see a bear forest,” Crow said.

Displayed in her front yard is a number of stuffed animals, along with chalk and gloves for kids to leave her a message.

“We as adults are having a hard time grasping what is going on, so I can't imagine what's going through kids' heads as to why they can't go see their friends or go out to the park,” Crow said. “We’re just trying to make the kids a little more happy and understanding.”

A couple blocks down, the Neal family has one big bear on display.

“I got him probably a few years ago,” 12-year-old Brianmolynne Neal said.

Neal put her life-size bear, spanning two thirds of her front door, on her front steps along with a sign that says ‘go away rona.’

“To cheer people up, because they might really be scared or sad,” said Neal, explaining why she wanted to participate in the bear hunt.

Nine-year-old Molly in a nearby neighborhood is also spreading positive messages. She used chalk to write phrases like ‘be yourself’ and ‘make a change’ on the sidewalk near her home.

“If someone in their family has the coronavirus they're probably sad. And so when they see these messages they'll probably just feel happiness in themselves and just joy,” Molly said.


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