TULSA, Okla. — While COVID-19 safety restrictions continue to keep many apart physically, one Green Country neighborhood says it has them feeling closer now more than ever.
A family new to a neighborhood in Tulsa was having trouble keeping their 2-year-old daughter Charlotte Ferguson busy will staying home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"We don’t have the escape of getting out of the house and going to the zoo when it’s nice or going to the aquarium when it’s cold outside or even just having a play date," Niccole Ferguson, Charlotte Ferguson's mother said. "There’s a lot she doesn’t understand right now. She just knows she misses her friends and doesn’t know why she can’t see them."
While on Facebook last week, Mrs. Ferguson saw a St. Patrick's Day neighborhood shamrock hunt. The event has passed but that gave her an idea.
“We were coloring and I thought, why don’t we do a rainbow hunt," Mrs. Ferguson said.
She didn't know anyone in her subdivision because her and her husband, Taylor Ferguson, had just moved in three years ago and were kept busy with their first child, Charlotte. But she decided to reach out to her neighbors anyway.
“I decided to just post in my neighborhood Facebook group thinking, well, even if just one other person does this, we have one other rainbow we can go on a hunt for," Mrs. Ferguson said.
The response to her post was huge.
“I just couldn’t believe it, there were over 30 rainbows in the neighborhood," Mrs. Ferguson said. “I was truly overwhelmed by the response of my neighbors."
People who did not even have kids were stepping up to help with the project.
“I thought, well, I’m just trying to keep my toddler entertained but in reality everyone is in that boat," Mrs. Ferguson said. "Some people said our kids are grown, but we’d be happy to put up a picture of a rainbow. So, they printed out a picture for their window."
Now on walks, young Charlotte, and other neighborhood kids have a game to play while practicing social distancing.
"She [Charlotte] just loves it. I mean, she was just so happy that there were rainbows everywhere," Mrs. Ferguson said. “It's also great to see kids riding by on their bicycles and you hear them yell, ‘Mom, I found another one!’"
The rainbows are now a symbol of camaraderie in Mrs. Ferguson's community during this unique time.
“Very fun that this group of adults has come together not only for their neighborhood, but their kids or kids that aren’t even their own," Mrs. Ferguson said. “It’s weird that this necessary distance has actually brought our community closer,"
As well as a symbol of hope for better days to come.
“It’s a promise of hope in that after the big storm, there’s something really beautiful to come from it," Mrs. Ferguson said.
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