Hearts of PG goes global

Hearts of P.G. was supposed to be a way to distract a local stay-at-home mom's two children as they made their way through this new thing called social distancing in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bailey Grose said she hoped to could get her neighbours on board to post hearts in their windows so her kids could go hunting for them when they went for their get-out-of-the-house walks. 

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She posted her request on Facebook on March 18 and just a few days later things are a whole lot bigger.

Grose is quick to say only go for walks with people you are already self-isolating with because staying safe is important.

"This was just to connect with people at a time when we physically can't be connected right now," Grose said. "Social distancing is difficult and this is a new term that literally didn't exist a couple of months ago - or maybe even a couple of weeks ago - so I just liked the idea that while we're social distancing everyone can feel connected. I think when you can get the feeling that you're doing something positive it can ease a lot of anxiety and stress. I know a lot of parents are looking for things to do at home right now."

Grose said she gets a lot of positive private messages from mothers saying their children are eager to get up in the morning to create more hearts for their windows.

"I've gotten videos of kids walking around finding the hearts and that's really all I wanted," Grose said. "I just wanted people to feel connected during this social distancing time."

So as the world changed and her youngest, who is four years old, would cry because she misses her friends and the craft table at preschool, Grose came up with this Hearts of P.G. movement.

"To say I'm surprised might not be an accurate word - blown away," Grose said. "So part of me is not surprised because Prince George notoriously always steps up to the plate for things like this."

Everyone is always so supportive in Prince George, she added, citing the response to the wildfire evacuees as an example. 

"But I am still shocked - it was literally posted last week as I was having a bit of anxiety - I have two kids at home and I posted it just as way to kind of distract us, thinking if a couple of people put some hearts up it would be really cool," she said. "So I am surprised how quickly it took off and then I was shocked at how globally it went."

Many people from around the world have reached out to Grose, posting hearts from France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the United States and the far and near parts of Canada. People have reached out to ask if they could carry the movement further and #AWorldofHearts has 197,000 members in the group while #AWorldofHearts2020 has 41,000.

Grose thinks it's awesome that she's referred to as "to that lady in Prince George" who started the grassroots project.

"I'm always excited when someone is talking about Prince George in this amazing light," Grose said. "So whenever I hear "this lady from Prince George" I think 'yeah, go Prince George!'"

She said she's not looking for credit but she loves to see how far the hearts have gone in the world.

Grose, always mindful of what prompted Hearts of Prince George in the first place, has shown her children the pictures of the hearts and then has mapped it out so they can learn where the hearts are being displayed.

"I've encouraged people to start their own hashtag so instead of #HeartsofPG it's #HeartsofTerrace, Kamloops and they all have their own pages," Grose said.

"And it's amazing.”

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