A single mom of three in Central New York is spreading joy with a minivan and some paint.

Grace Ashline lives in New Hartford with her three children, Isaiah (8), Autumn (6), and Benny (3). Professionally, Grace is a social worker, and is a Professor and Supervisor of the Human Services program at Herkimer College. She understands on many levels what people are going through during this crisis - as a mental health professional, and as a mom.

Credit: Grace Ashline

"I've been trying to come up with ways to not only provide free mental wellness resources but include my children so they can learn about self-compassion and hopefully help us all remember we're not unique in how we're struggling too," Grace explained.

As a family, Grace and her children decided to dub her minivan the "Cheer Mobile" - decorating it with paint and messages like "Be Kind to One Another." The kids tooks it a step further, painting the snow outside neighbors homes with flowers and hearts - anything to share a smile.

Credit: Grace Ashline

The response from neighbors was great. Grace says "The kids would yell from the car window, "Mom, look someone's at the front window waving."  My daughter Autumn was excited to tell me which house she thought, "Needed it."  We did about 10 houses before the first round of paint ran out and the responses were overwhelming.  People were waving from the windows, children hoarding the windows of their home to look at the art work and all of us returned home with a good conversation about spreading joy."

Grace and her kids are our 'Everyday Heroes' for doing what they can to spread joy during a time that feels frightening to many. If you know someone that deserves to be recognized, let me know at beth@lite987.com

Cheer Mobile