Valley’s youngest residents showing appreciation for others during COVID-19 pandemic

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Local kids, ages 4 to 14, are doing their part to show their support for those on the frontlines

(WKBN) – People across the Valley, including some of the area’s youngest residents, are showing appreciation for those on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They’re risking their lives every day. They’re putting their life on the line to keep us safe,” said Preston Stephens.

Preston, who is 10 years old, is using his Cricut machine to cut out little red badges. On the back of them will be messages from people.

The badges will be sent to area hospitals.

Preston has already made about 100, including his own, making sure those on the frontlines hear his message loud and clear.

“Be safe, and thank you for all that you do,” he said.
 
Breanna Bertolini is the mom of 4-year-old Eloise.

Jokingly, she asked who’d be interested in buying a piece of her daughter’s artwork.

“I was totally blown away by how many people jumped in,” she said.

A little more than 200 people have purchased prints of her drawings, totaling more than $1,000.

Now, they’re using that money to support local businesses by buying gift cards, and in return, giving them to those on the frontline.

“It’s great to be able to help them, and at the same time, help the frontline workers who are risking their lives every day. To be able to help them and local businesses is just a win-win,” Breanna said.

Fourteen-year-old Addison Hanousek is starting a “Go Ribbon Somebody” challenge.

“The green ribbon is for life ribbons and that is to show our appreciation for hospital workers, grocery store workers and everybody through this pandemic, and they’re basically like our real-life heroes,” she said.

She said it doesn’t have to be a green ribbon, though. It can be any bright color.

Addison said the response has been overwhelming.

“Just a lot of ‘thank yous’ and knowing they’re happy makes me happy,” she said.

She wants people to know it doesn’t matter how old you are — no gesture is too big or too small.

“Don’t stay quiet. Bring it up to your parents. As long as it is a safe and social-distancing way, go out and show your appreciation,” she said.

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