'Be Kind': Geneva family writes messages of hope on neighborhood sidewalk

  • David and Kali Holstein, along with their three-year-old son Jackson, filled the sidewalk outside their Geneva home with messages of hope Sunday morning for neighbors who may be struggling during the coronavirus outbreak.

      David and Kali Holstein, along with their three-year-old son Jackson, filled the sidewalk outside their Geneva home with messages of hope Sunday morning for neighbors who may be struggling during the coronavirus outbreak. Jeff Knox | Staff Photographer

  • 'Be Kind' is the family motto of David and Kali Holstein, who, along with their three-year-old son Jackson, spread that and other messages of hope Sunday on the sidewalk outside their Geneva home.

      'Be Kind' is the family motto of David and Kali Holstein, who, along with their three-year-old son Jackson, spread that and other messages of hope Sunday on the sidewalk outside their Geneva home. Jeff Knox | Staff Photographer

  • A Geneva family wrote messages of hope Sunday on the sidewalk outside their home to inspire those who might be struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

      A Geneva family wrote messages of hope Sunday on the sidewalk outside their home to inspire those who might be struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic. Jeff Knox | Staff Photographer

  • David and Kali Holstein, along with their three-year-old son Jackson, filled the sidewalk outside their Geneva home with messages of hope for neighbors who may be struggling during the coronavirus outbreak.

      David and Kali Holstein, along with their three-year-old son Jackson, filled the sidewalk outside their Geneva home with messages of hope for neighbors who may be struggling during the coronavirus outbreak. Jeff Knox | Staff Photographer

  • A Geneva family wrote messages of hope on the sidewalk outside their home to inspire those who might be struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

      A Geneva family wrote messages of hope on the sidewalk outside their home to inspire those who might be struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic. Jeff Knox | Staff Photographer

  • David and Kali Holstein, along with their three-year-old son Jackson, filled the sidewalk outside their Geneva home with messages of hope for neighbors who may be struggling during the coronavirus outbreak.

      David and Kali Holstein, along with their three-year-old son Jackson, filled the sidewalk outside their Geneva home with messages of hope for neighbors who may be struggling during the coronavirus outbreak. Jeff Knox | Staff Photographer

  • David and Kali Holstein, along with their three-year-old son Jackson, filled the sidewalk outside their Geneva home with messages of hope for neighbors who may be struggling during the coronavirus outbreak.

      David and Kali Holstein, along with their three-year-old son Jackson, filled the sidewalk outside their Geneva home with messages of hope for neighbors who may be struggling during the coronavirus outbreak. Jeff Knox | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/22/2020 6:33 PM

"Be Kind." It's our family message, say David and Kali Holstein of Geneva.

With that message in mind, and to get a little fresh air, David and his son, Jackson, 3, took chalk and started to draw on the sidewalk in front of their home Sunday morning. When Jackson got too cold and went inside, David started to write messages of hope.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

One after another.

He didn't quit until he reached his driveway. Eleven messages in all.

The messages of hope and kindness spring from tragedy just two years ago. That's when the Holsteins' infant son, Cohen, passed away.

To return the kindness they received, every year on Cohen's birthday, they take the day off and perform random acts of kindness throughout the community.

"We help load groceries into someone's car. We pay for the coffee for the car behind us. Just random acts," David said.

This year the Holsteins purchased a gift card at Nothing Bundt Cakes in Geneva and had the cashier swipe the card for customers purchasing cakes.

"People needed messages of hope at this time," David Holstein said. "We've seen more people walking around the neighborhood than ever before and I just hope this helps those who are struggling."

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