Since the Gratitude Graffiti Project reached Council Bluffs in 2014, it’s been a colorful reminder to be thankful.
This year is no exception, with graffiti stops housed at multiple locations throughout the city. Visitors can write words of gratitude or appreciation on the month-long display.
“It’s just kind of fun. They can be on a window, a piece of paper, they can be notes to put on a Christmas tree, they can be sidewalk chalk, anything,” said Brenda Krivanek, administrative assistant for the Wings of Hope Cancer Support Center, which organizes the effort.
People express appreciation for everything from vacation to school, family and friends, being alive or major life events, Krivanek said.
The Gratitude Graffiti Project is a national movement, and Krivanek said Wings of Hope works on the project by making a list of local locations participating, sending out information and reminding participants of the upcoming event.
“It doesn’t cost the business anything other than a little time to set it up, but it encourages people throughout Council Bluffs to stop and think, ‘Oh yeah, I am thankful for that,” Krivanek said.
With political elections, and other anxieties this year in particular, Krivanek said it’s important to remember what we’re thankful for.
“Since we’re in an atmosphere with such political divisiveness, both national and local with our election for City Council, it’s nice for people to remember we do have a lot to be thankful for,” said Krivanek.
Besides reminding community members what they have to be thankful for, health benefits are another plus for some participants.
“We’re building positive emotion, that’s the main idea behind this, and I think that will have an influence in general,” said Carolyn Ettinger, executive director for Wings of Hope.
Participating locations include:
• Wings of Hope Cancer Support Center, 427 E. Kanesville Blvd. Suite 202
• CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs, 800 Mercy Drive
• Council Bluffs City Hall, 209 Pearl St.
• Community of Christ, 140 W. Kanesville Blvd.
• Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital, 933 E. Pierce St.
• Council Bluffs Public Library, 400 Willow Ave.
• Montgomery County Memorial Hospital — Oncology & Hematology Department, 2301 Eastern Ave., in Red Oak
• Availa Bank — Council Bluffs locations
• Firespring — 295 W. Broadway
• Dickinson & Clark CPA’s PC — 535 W. Broadway