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Positive message shared via empty store

An empty storefront in Picayune has been transformed into an oversized thank you card to medical personnel and essential workers who are putting themselves at risk during the pandemic, along with a thank you to families sheltering at home to slow the spread of COVID-19.

A multicolored rainbow arches across the glass doors at 117 West Canal Street, with a bright yellow sun made of hearts centered beneath the rainbow’s arch. The rainbow and hearts are meant to be symbols of hope to brighten the day of passersby, said the building’s owner Leigh Harper.

“I wanted to use it as not just giving something that’s hopeful, but almost as a thank you card for people in the community that are just doing everything they can—to the medical workers that are putting themselves in harm’s way for the rest of us, the restaurant workers who are still trying to provide food for us, the grocery store employees who are still trying to provide essentials,” said Harper.

On Monday Harper added a hand written message to the window display: “To the hearts of those serving the hearts of others, you are loved and appreciated. Thank you.”

Harper saw many on Facebook putting hearts in their windows to show support for medical workers, offer hope and encouragement to passersby and give kids something fun to find. Instead of placing hearts in her windows at home where she and her family are sheltering in place, Harper decided to use the storefront.

“I imagine it won’t get noticed by a lot, but I thought to myself, if one person sees it and it gives them a smile, it’s worth it,” she said.