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Staying positive: Austin communities find creative ways to spread love during tough times

From air hugs to drive-thru birthdays, Austin communities are finding ways to stay positive through these tough times.

AUSTIN, Texas — At a time when it’s easy to feel alone, people are sending out positive messages to the Austin community, letting folks know we’re in this together.

In Downtown Austin, you may have noticed the J.W. Marriot lights up with a big heart at night on the side of the building, spreading love to those who pass by it.

In other parts of town like North Austin, you will see more acts of kindness. We drove through the Crestview neighborhood Monday morning and found this: a giant chair offering up a big air hug to a world that needs it, and it reads, “ChAir hug, love your neighbor.” It sits on Justin Lane and Arroyo Seco.

Credit: Kalyn Norwood

Joggers and walkers nearby told us the person who owns the house is constantly putting up positive messages like this. They did it for New Year’s, St. Patrick’s Day and now they’re doing it just because.

RELATED: Austinites run errands for strangers stuck at home during coronavirus pandemic

“He had a sign, I think you’ve seen the expression elsewhere, 'We’re together though we have to be apart,' so he’s constantly refreshing his chair to let us know that everything’s going to be OK,” said Paul Borelli, who lives in the neighborhood. “It makes me feel like there’s somebody out there who can see the bright side ahead and is positive and makes it feel more like a community.”

People in the community are also finding unique ways to celebrate birthdays. 

Credit: Kalyn Norwood

We stopped by a family's home. The father told us it was his daughter's third birthday and they, unfortunately, had to cancel her party because of social distancing and the stay-at-home orders. So, they put the big signs up to surprise her instead.

Also in North Austin, the Gracywoods community came together to celebrate a little girl’s birthday with a drive-thru celebration. Her name is Emma and she just turned nine years old. 

Credit: Yvonne Nava

So when you’re out grabbing groceries or running other essential errands, look around. You never know what might be there to make you smile.

RELATED VIDEO: Austinites helping neighbors during coronavirus outbreak


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