A group of Weston children are reaching out to the families of victims from the mass shooting in Orlando by sending them Stars of Hope.
Under the direction of parent Catherine Revzon, the group painted wooden stars and put messages of encouragement and support on them.
The stars are being delivered to Orlando by Fran Sheff-Mauer, a Weston parent and director of marketing and branding for New York Says Thank You, the parent company of the Stars of Hope campaign.
Stars of Hope is a service project in which volunteers take wooden stars and decorate them with messages of peace, love and hope. The stars are then sent to a community that has recently been exposed to tragedy.
Since 2007, more than 50,000 stars have been sent by Stars of Hope.
“In times of tragedy, we bring the stars out and it helps the community heal,” Sheff-Mauer said.
In December, Weston Girl Scout Troop 50667 made a number of Stars of Hope for the families of victims of the San Bernardino shooting, which left 14 people dead.
The stars were prominently displayed around the San Bernardino community, and was good for their morale according to a thank you letter sent to the Scout by San Bernardino’s mayor R. Carey Davis.
The hand-crafted stars are also connecting families affected by tragedy with one another.
In Orlando, Sheff-Mauer is meeting with Elsie Cintron-Rosado who lost her daughter in the 9/11 attacks Survivors from San Bernardino have made stars for Cintron-Rosado and other 9/11 families, and also for families in Orlando.
Stars of Hope are being hung at Pulse, the gay dance bar and nightclub, where the Orlando shootings took place. The stars are also on display at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York, which was recently declared a National Landmark to gay rights.
Sheff-Mauer and Westonites who made Stars of Hope for the Orlando families include Catherine, Maddy, and Winston Revzon, Paige DeFelice, Kyle, Ethan, and KatieRose Blumenfeld, Alexander and Gabriel Francois, and Stephanie and Dylan Field.
“Stars of Hope gives us a chance to give back to others,” Sheff-Mauer said. “It just makes people happy.”