‘Stay home and say thank you’: Moving chalk messages pop up in Winchester driveways amid coronavirus pandemic

WINCHESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - Messages of happiness and positivity have been popping up in driveways in Winchester as stressed residents continue to self-isolate amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that has shut down schools and many businesses.

“It feels great. I’m glad I could do something during these hard times. It’s just the little things,” said Caroline Herlihy, who’s responsible for some of the messages of love that have started appearing across the small suburban town.

Some of the notes read, “Keep Calm and Save T.P,” “Stay Home and Say Thank You,” and “Have a Good Day!”

It all started when photographer Theresa Johnson Herlihy went on a long walk and saw a random chalk message that made her smile.

“Immediately I started thinking I could take my drone out and maybe I can get people to write beautiful messages to express gratitude to all the people working out there,” Theresa said.

Her family created the hashtag “drivewaylovenotes” and it took off. Neighbors and friends began writing to the healthcare professionals and first responders on the frontlines working to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“I was thinking of all the doctors and nurses when I wrote it and hoping they can see it,” Katherine Herlihy said.

Another chalk message read, “Stronger Together (But 6 Feet Away).”

“It’s just something simple. Happy, positive messages,” Theresa said. “Spread kindness and spread joy. There are so many people that want to do something positive, do something good.”

The family has even gotten some inspiration from rockstar Bon Jovi.

“I loved this line: He said, ‘If you can’t do what you do do what you can,'” Theresa explained. “I was like, ‘oh my god it just resonated with me, it’s so beautiful.'”

Another message read, “To the people working at hospitals, grocery stores, to the teachers, mailmen, and 1st responders, thank you.”

Winchester resident Katie Lew says she hopes the messages won’t go unnoticed.

“I just hope that the more messages that get written the more doctors, the more grocery store workes see them,” Lew said. “The more people who will actually be impacted and realize that what they are doing will be recognized with the people.”

Theresa said she does not charge for photographs and that she’s happy to spread positive messages.

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