In the Demery Hill neighborhood, a rainbow sign hangs on a fence reading, “We are all in this together.” Placards lining the way to Louis Thompson Road share the words, “Facing challenges in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.” On the Lake Sammamish Trail, rocks are painted with positive messages along the path.
Though some may think a global pandemic would bring out the worst in people, this has not been the case during the last few months. A nationwide trend of kindness and positivity has shown that we, as a society, are more likely to find ways to help one another and come out of this crisis stronger.
The Sammamish community has been no exception to this trend. People from all around Sammamish are making the effort to share messages of positivity and encouragement to uplift the community. Even after more than two months of the stay-at-home order in place, people still feel the need to share words of encouragement, humor and love to stay positive during this time.
While driving through Sammamish, you can find hearts taped to windows, “thank you” messages for healthcare workers, and so much more that highlights the beauty of staying positive in dark times.
There has also been an abundance of neighbor-to-neighbor acts of kindness. Whether it is making masks for neighbors, helping with garbage day and lawn mowing, or leaving flowers on doorsteps, neighbors have been helping and showing kindness to each other constantly during this time.
Claudia Woodward, a 21-year-old Timberline resident, has set up scavenger hunts with her mother to provide a bit of outdoor fun in her neighborhood. Participants use a map to find colored rocks with letters and numbers around the neighborhood to solve a puzzle. When the puzzle is complete, kids stop by Woodward’s house to pick up a small prize.
“I decided to start this because I thought it would be a fun way to get parents and their kids outside and give the kids something fun to do while in quarantine,” Woodward said.
Woodward’s scavenger hunt has been a huge success. During the first week, more than 45 kids participated in the event, and the community has stayed constantly involved ever since.
“The excitement I see when kids show me their completed puzzles is great,” Woodward said. “After the first scavenger hunt, the neighborhood immediately asked when the next one would be.”
Woodward also said her activity has sparked neighbors to meet each other while walking.
“I know my family has grown closer with the community during this time and have met many of our neighbors through the scavenger hunt,” she said.
There has also been an outpouring of love and support for class of 2020 high school graduates. Drive-by graduation celebrations have become common for Sammamish students, who will have to settle for virtual graduations this year.
Sammamish mom Meri Hartman, 48, and her daughter Eva, a senior at Eastside Catholic, experienced an act of kindness from a young neighbor during this graduation season. The neighbor drew a sweet picture for Eva and brought her a self-made bouquet of flowers to celebrate her achievement.
The Sammamish community is demonstrating, in a myriad of ways, how we can stay strong as a community even when we must be physically apart. Even though COVID-19 may feel overwhelming and scary, Sammamish residents have put their own positive spin on the experience, and are sharing this positivity throughout the community.