People design Stars of Hope for communities facing tragedy

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- People from the Charlottesville community spent their Saturday afternoon creating their own Stars of Hope on the Downtown Mall to help heal cities that are facing tragedies in the United States.

Jan Wolfe was one of the people who designed a Star of Hope.

Wolfe's star included a field of sunflowers with a quote in Spanish that says, "You're not alone."

"Sunflowers are very bright and hopeful," she said. "There's more than just one. You're not alone and you really aren't."

Wolfe's message was displayed with dozens of other stars for the victims of the mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton and Gilroy.

Shoshana Dweck, a board chair with New York Says Thank You Foundation, said her organization started Stars of Hope to empower communities impacted by tragedies.

"We do Stars of Hope with communities, sending hope into communities that need it," Dweck said. "Charlottesville is sending hope out to El Paso, Dayton and to Gilroy."

Dweck also encourages people to use the artwork and words they paint on their stars to resemble a hug.

"I ask people, 'If you had the chance to be in a community that is suffering, what would your hug say,'" Dweck asked. "Whatever your hug says is what your star should say."

Wolfe's hug will be passed on to families facing tragedy.

"We're all human and tragedy is tragedy, whether it happens to black, white or Latino," Wolfe said. "It's still a tragedy."

Wolfe also hopes these tragedies can help the Charlottesville community and the United States move forward in their healing process.

"You've got to start somewhere and a lot of times these things start with small acts," she said. "Doing something like this is a tangible way of showing that."

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