Rainbow 1

SEVEN-YEAR-OLD Raelyn Beham shows off her rainbow creation as part of the Neighboring Area Rainbow Hunt. Encouraging community members to create their own rainbows and then search for others around their neighborhood, the rainbow hunt was started by Christine Steele of Steele’s Brushes and Ceramics as a safe way to get outside and spread joy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

EAST BRADY – Everyone has heard Kermit the Frog sing about “the Rainbow Connection,” now one local business owner wants everyone to experience the Rainbow Connection.

In the wake of the COVID-19 virus and subsequent business closures, Christine Steele of Steele’s Brushes and Ceramics in East Brady and Butler is encouraging area residents to join a new neighborhood initiative to brighten each others’ day.

“I thought it would be fun to have a neighborhood-wide rainbow hunt,” Steele said, encouraging individuals to create and place colorful rainbows in their windows, on their porches or in their yards for others to search out and admire. “I’m hoping we can put smiles on some faces.”

According to Steele, the idea for the neighborhood rainbow hunt stemmed from a recent conversation from a friend after Steele was forced to completely close her art studios amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were talking about the current situation and how it broke my heart that I wouldn’t be able to do take-home art kits anymore with the risk of spreading the disease,” she said, noting that she understands how hard it to stay occupied, especially with kids, when you’re stuck at home.

Wanting something safe to get people out of the house, Steele said she drew inspiration from her new Kindness Rocks Project to create a new Facebook group encouraging her community to adorn their homes with colorful rainbows for all to see and enjoy.

“It’s sort of like hunting for the [kindness] rocks, but with a twist,” she said, explaining that the initiative allows for community members to get outside and do something fun without having to touch or be around each other.

Anyone who makes or spots a rainbow is invited to post a picture on the group Facebook page, Neighboring Area Rainbow Hunt.

“It’s a new way to use your artistic ability and creativity to spread joy safely,” Steele said, noting that rainbows can be made from all kinds of materials including sidewalk chalk, handprints, window markers, paper and more. “Rainbows can be made of anything — just something bright and colorful to make someone smile.”

While she started the initiative in her neighborhood of East Brady, Steele said the rainbow hunt can easily grow to include other decorations and can be shared and implemented into other communities.

“This is something all ages can enjoy,” she said. “Who doesn’t smile when they see a rainbow? We all need some colorful sunshine in this darkness.”

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