MERIDEN — When Anna Caya felt she was seeing too much bad news, she decided to do something about it.
About two weeks ago the Meriden resident created a new Facebook group called “We Rise CT,” dedicated to sharing positive thoughts and actions with others across the state.
Members post about their days, share positive quotes and photos of what they’ve been cooking or painting or doing. Some offer extra rolls of toilet paper or to send a care package to nursing homes.
“I think that people tend to look at social media in a bad way … (but it) can bring people closer together, especially in a time like this, without being inundated with bad news,” Caya said.
In about a week the group had amassed a couple hundred members and is steadily expanding outside the local community. There are now about 350.
Caya said the goal is to add some positivity to people’s lives, and share the good things that are still happening around the state.
“When you wake up and you see all these happy things, you have more of a positive outlook on life,” Caya said.
Member Melissa Gould, of East Hampton, said the group is the first place she goes when logging into Facebook.
“I just want to see the positivity and send it to people,” Gould said.
The group also does pay-it-forward gifts for each other or for neighbors.
One member received something random and wanted to give the feeling to another person. She posted on the group asking people to pick a number and someone would be chosen randomly to receive a personalized tote bag and coffee.
Meriden resident Carrie Gajewski and her daughter designed a small batch of magnets specifically for the group, which they gave out for free. The two run an art business called “Lily-Ann Art.”
The magnets show a rainbow flower and say “be kind in a world where you can be anything.”
“I hope they will be very happy when they get them and it will make their day,” Gajewski said. “It feels so good to give and to be in a group with like minded individuals, especially during this time when we can all use a little motivation and positivity.”
Caya said she hopes the group continues to evolve.
“It’s really blossoming quite beautiful,” she said.
Anyone across Connecticut, above the age of 21, is welcome to join.