GEE AND URSULA

11-year-old Natalie is spreading kindness with chalk in Snohomish County

Apr 1, 2020, 8:18 AM | Updated: 10:49 am
chalk, coronavirus, positive...
Natalie Hinze is sharing positive messages with her neighbors during the coronavirus outbreak with sidewalk chalk. (Photo courtesy of Hinze Family)
(Photo courtesy of Hinze Family)

During this time when many people are feeling more isolated from friends and family and anxiety levels are high, positive thoughts and a little bit of kindness can go a long way.

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Natalie Hinze, an 11-year-old in Snohomish County, is sharing encouraging quotes with her neighbors.

“I realized that people weren’t feeling that positive,” Hinze told KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show. “So I went around my neighborhood writing positive messages with chalk on people’s sidewalks, and giving them small presents and stuff like that.”

Hinze is a sixth grader at Gateway Middle School in Everett, and said she was motivated by her choir teacher who always has a positive attitude. Hinze wanted to do something to help cheer people up.

“First, I decided to put positive quotes on my Google Classroom,” she said. “And then I decided I should go bigger.”

That’s when she decided to take these quotes out into her neighborhood. She gave a shoutout to her friends who are also sharing positive messages with chalk for their neighbors.

Hinze has received a lot of positive feedback from her neighbors for her messages.

“My neighbors, they’re so nice, so like they’re always saying nice things,” Hinze said. “Like, ‘aw, you made my day,’ ‘that’s so cool,’ ‘thank you so much.’ I love that. It’s really nice of them.”

Hinze also wrote a letter to the editor in the Everett Herald about what she’s been doing in her neighborhood while school is out, which was published.

“Yeah, there was a thing that all kids could enter and write about something,” she said. “So I chose writing about positivity so more people could see what we need to be doing.”

Her chalk messages include simple phrases like ‘be happy,’ ‘stay positive,’ ‘never give up,’ and other encouraging quotes.

With schools closed statewide until at least April 27, Hinze said she does miss her friends but understands that staying home is best thing to do.

“[If] we can keep the virus down, it’ll probably go away sometime.”

We will get through this together

She said she can keep in touch with her friends by phone and email, and she gets assignments from her teachers through Google Classroom that keep her busy when she’s not out in the neighborhood.

Hinze said she will continue to write messages, and is planning to go out again today since the rain washed the chalk away yesterday.

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11-year-old Natalie is spreading kindness with chalk in Snohomish County