Good Neighbors

Neighbors Make Chalk Drawings To Stay Connected

They created a community art museum to encourage families to get outside.



So many communities have shelter-in-place orders right now. So how do we avoid feeling isolated when we're supposed to stay in doors and avoid interacting with other people?

One mother in Mountain View, a suburb 40 miles south of San Francisco, came up with a unique idea to engage with her neighbors, without actually, well, engaging with them!

Daphne Sashin emailed her neighborhood group and invited folks to join her in making chalk art drawings on their driveways and in front of their homes. Then, the families could take turns touring the "community art museum."

Daphne Sashin, mother of 2, came up with the idea to start a community art museum in her neighborhood. Daphne Sashin/Facebook

Sashin said she wanted to make sure people were staying connected even while they were practicing social distancing.

"The idea was this would be something that would brighten everyone's day and it would bring us together as a community, even though we can't physically be together," Sashin told CNN.

The neighborhood responded in a big way with more than 50 households creating chalk drawings.

Over 50 households made chalk drawings for the "museum." Daphne Sashin/Facebook

"Even homes that didn't sign up had drawings," Sashin said. "Everybody is stuck indoors, and it's a stressful time."

Some community members really flexed their artistic skills, including one neighbor who recreated Van Gogh's famous "Starry Night" painting.

One artist recreated a Van Gogh painting with layers of chalk. Daphne Sashin/Facebook

Others included positive messages with their drawings, like "We're all in this together" and "Choose joy."

Some artists included inspiring messages with their drawings. Daphne Sashin/Facebook

"This was an extra motivation to walk around the neighborhood," she said. "It brought people together in a safe way."

While Sashin was thrilled that her idea helped to get people outdoors during the mandatory stay-at-home order, she's hoping to keep the project going, even after the mandate has passed.

What a wonderful idea to encourage neighbors to come together during a time of crisis. It's amazing what people can accomplish when they work together!

Sashin hopes the museum will become a tradition in the neighborhood. Daphne Sashin/Facebook

What are you doing in your community to stay connected with others during the coronavirus crisis? Share your experience in the comments below!

How can you start something good?

Inspired by Daphne Sashin's idea?


Why not take her lead and start your own community project to keep people engaged?


You can invite your neighbors to do chalk drawings, or you can start a community pantry and get others to donate goods for people in need.


There's no better time to #StartSomethingGood!

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