WALLINGFORD — This may turn into the year of the lawn sign: red “thank you” hearts, graduation celebrations, campaign signs.
Another type of lawn sign should be popping up soon, promoting positivity and believing in goodness.
The Coalition for a Better Wallingford has joined a new partnership with the town and the apparel brand Life is Good, and one of the first awareness campaigns is a fundraiser.
The Coalition is selling lawn signs with a custom-made image for $10 each. Proceeds will go toward young adult programming.
Jessie DePonte, who joined the Coalition six months ago as community outreach director, said Wallingford is the first town to partner with the company in this way.
Life is Good has a children’s foundation that supports the Playmakers program, which trains adults who work with children who have had adverse childhood experiences to help them through any trauma they may have experienced.
DePonte said the partnership was initiated by Craig Turner, the former Youth & Social Services director. Turner stepped down at the end of May.
“He put a lot of work into establishing that connection,” DePonte said. “As he’s retired, I’ve kind of taken over as the liaison between the town and Life is Good.”
Life is Good has created partnerships in the past, but with schools, day cares or camps.
“The partnership we have is actually with the town of Wallingford,” DePonte said, “and it’s the first for them, they’ve never partnered with an entire town before.”
Other town departments that are involved include Youth & Social Services and the Health department. DePonte said other town agencies and the school district are in conversations to join.
“We’re looking at a potential pilot program that Life is Good is running,” she said, “and there are very few people in the country who are going to have this program.”
The program is a Superpower Kit for teachers, DePonte said, which is mirrored on a new mural on the Coalition’s office wall.
“It’s called the superpower tree,” she said, “and there’s different superpowers to help you unlock your potential, (like) gratitude, compassion, humor.”
DePonte said the broad goal is to bring positivity and listen to the community to create resources.
“We recognize that, especially with COVID-19 around, people are kind of slipping into depression or having mental health issues,” she said. “We want to created resources for our community.”
The Coalition doesn’t have a grant from Life is Good per se, she said, but they do have access to programming free of charge. The company also donated items for the Coalition to give away during Red Ribbon Week. Life is Good also supplied the graphics for the lawn signs and the mural design.
The Coalition, 136 Center St., is planning to open a retail space for Life is Good merchandise, once the items arrive. Shipping delays have prevented the retail corner from being fully stocked.
Red Ribbon Week is dedicated to raising awareness about addictive substances and violence prevention. An open house on Tuesday allowed the public to see the changes made to the Coalition’s office, which now more resembles a lounge with couches and chairs and an entertainment center.
The Red Ribbon Week ceremony has been postponed to 7 p.m. Thursday on the Parade Grounds, near the Town Hall on South Main Street.
Contact the Coalition with any questions at 203-927-7566 or email@example.com.