BEND, OR -- New orange banners are popping up around Bend, featuring positive messages of encouragement. They're part of the Bend Joy Project launched last month by The Old Mill District.
Noelle Fredland, Marketing Director at The Old Mill District told Bend City Councilors, last week, residents need a little lift. "We started it because we felt like we need a little more joy. And, that we have a pretty amazing culture, here in Bend, and we have an amazing, very 'on purpose' community. I think we could all do with a little reminding that a little gratitude goes a long way."
Councilor Nathan Boddie asked Fredland, "What was the impetus, was there a catalyst that led to this? Was somebody really mean?" She explained, "The catalyst really was, we really wanted to do some positive messaging on property; we feel like people are really tired of being sold to. And, as we went through the summer season sitting on this idea, we noticed there was a fair amount of anti-tourist sentiment and growth sentiment, and people were grumpy. And we think, 'Why are we so grumpy? This is an amazing place with amazing people.'"
According to Fredland, more than 150 businesses are involved in the Bend Joy Project, and they've received a lot of positive feedback. The campaign involves the orange signs on light posts, cards, a website and social media, where people can share stories of kindness.