Day campers at the Brainerd Family YMCA used markers, pens and their creativity to design posters and brighten the days of community heroes.

As a daily activity, the children learned about what makes people heroes and who in the community are heroes. Karl Samp, with Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation, and Shane Riffle, CEO of the Brainerd Family YMCA, talked about how the community is stepping up to support each other. This idea took root as a way to creatively engage kids in a way that helps them express their gratitude and also lifts the spirits of those who are showing up 24 hours a day to make sure the community is safe, healthy and has what it needs.

“Despite the many challenges and changes we’ve been facing, there is an opportunity to help teach our children and next generation of leaders how a community can rise up and take care of each other, especially those who are in need and the most vulnerable,” stated Riffle in a news release. “It is easy to close your doors and look out for yourself during a crisis, but we are seeing people and organizations step up and do good.”

Posters and balloons were delivered to the Brainerd Dispatch, Brainerd Fire Department, Brainerd Police Department, Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Hospital, Cub Foods-East Brainerd, Super One Foods, Bremer Bank, and to CTC virtually with a hard copy to follow for the Baxter office.