Good Neighbors

Woman Writes Over 20K Love Notes For Nation's Heroes

She started the project with her mother. Now she wants others join her cause.

Valentine's Day only comes once a year, but for Arizona native, Natalie Reilly, every day is a good day to spread some love.

Reilly started "Nothing But Love Notes" four years ago with her mother, who was fighting cancer at the time.

The two were looking for something to do to keep their minds off of her mother's chemo treatments, so they started writing thank you notes to their heroes, including fire fighters, veterans and law enforcement officers.

"We had a bunch of thank-you notes, threw them on the kitchen table, and she always had an affinity to first responders," Reilly told "We got her in the car, drove around three hours and looked for them."

Nothing But Love Notes/Facebook

Reilly's mother passed shortly after they started their project, but Reilly has kept the tradition going and has given out over 20,000 handwritten notes in the last four years.

Reilly even met her current boyfriend, a retired police officer, after she gave him a love note about a year ago.

Others who have gotten love notes have said they have made all the difference.

"It seems like Natalie's notes find people on bad days or just long days, when you're tired and drained, and it kind of recharges you," said Sgt. Zachary Astrup, a member of the Buckeye (AZ) Police Department.

Nothing But Love Notes/Facebook

Reilly has since partnered with other organizations to share her notes and has invited others to join her in writing them. She recently gathered a stack of love notes from the Miramar Youth and Teen Center, where elementary-aged children wrote them for kids who are battling illnesses. Many also addressed letters to the children's doctors and caregivers.

Even though Reilly's mom is no longer with her, she says she thinks of her every time she hands out a love note.

As she writes on her website, "Mom's been gone for more than a year now, but our collective dream of spreading love to our best and bravest, those who have shown courage, love and compassion to our country and community in the most selfless and essential of ways, is growing stronger every day!"

Here's Reilly with her mom, who inspired her to start the project and keep it going. Nothing But Love Notes/Facebook

What a beautiful way to show compassion to our nation's heroes while keeping her mother's legacy alive. Way to go, Reilly!

Here's a slide show of more of the great images of the love notes -- and people giving and getting them!

Nothing But Love Notes In Action 

Reilly poses with two friendly love note recipients.

How can you start something good?

Inspired by Natalie Reilly's incredible act of kindness?

You can reach out to Reilly to get involved with her project.

Or, why not take her lead and write your own love notes to the people making a difference in your community? Check out the Nothing But Love Notes Facebook and Instagram page for some great examples.

As one of the quotes on Reilly's website reads, "Even the largest avalanche is triggered by the smallest things."

Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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