As families are forced to stay home from work and school due to COVID-19 concerns, the community is finding small ways to reach out and connect, and show their neighbors that we’re all in this together.

All across social media, #aworldofhearts is trending, with pictures of hearts in all sizes and colors posted in the windows of houses, hospitals, apartments and nursing homes. It’s a simple gesture with a massive meaning. It shows that while communities may be isolated from each other due to social distancing, they can still show support, and even “play” together.

As families venture out for necessities or simply take a walk for some fresh air, they can make a game of spotting all the houses with hearts on display. Some have even gone a step further, creating scavenger hunts with residents displaying items in their windows for people to spot.

A World of Hearts started off in Bismarck with resident Mandy Gill, who created the #aworldofhearts-ND Facebook page, which has now become the #aworldofhearts-USA page, with over 157,000 members. The page now boasts members from all across the country, who post pictures of the hearts in their own windows, as well as those they spot when they’re out and about. The trend has taken off in a huge fashion, with members from Baja, California to Jackson, New Jersey and everywhere in between showing their support by filling their windows with hearts.

The group looks like it may have to make another name change soon, as Gill stated on the page that she’s planning to put together a map showing members all over the world. While it may seem like a small token, the movement has been embraced by a community forced to stay at home, many with the inability to get out and otherwise socialize. The hearts give the kids a craft to create and a game to play, and moms, dads and caretakers an incentive to get out and get some fresh air.

Overall, however, it’s the message behind the hearts that seems to be resonating most with those on social media. That simple notion that we are all in this together, and the visual affirmation that there are others reaching out their hands to their neighbors. After they’ve washed them, of course.

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