MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – While most people are spending their days at home during the COVID-19 outbreak, personal contact is not encouraged. A group of women in the Upper Peninsula started a movement. Within its first three days, thousands of people have joined Hearts of Hope – Yooper Strong.

The message of the group is: “We wanted to start a fun activity for families or anyone to get out of their homes to take a ride. Keeping social distancing in mind, decorate your front door, your front window, all your windows, whatever you want! Bring some love into our world and join in!! Make a game out of it to see how many houses you can find.”

One of the women who helped start the group is Denise Bannan. She said one of her co-workers sent her an invitation to join another group called Happy Heart Hunt. Bannan said she thought it would be a good idea to bring something like it to Marquette. It has grown into a U.P. wide phenomenon.

“I think people want something that keeps their mind busy and showing us a sign of hope and solidarity, said Bannan”

The group was created on Wednesday, and by Friday evening had more than 3,600 members.

“I put it out there because I thought how great it would be to take a walk or a ride and to see all of these hearts and just feel a sense of hope still. It was fantastic. I did not expect it,” Bannan said about the rapid growth of the group.

Bannan said she nearly turned away from social media because she couldn’t handle seeing the despair and panic from the posts in her feed.

“I wanted to do this so I could open my facebook page and see hearts and hope.”

Bannan said the group is representative of the spirit of the U.P.

“Yoopers are strong. They are resilient. They are stubborn. It’s a whole bunch of Sisu and everything else all wrapped up into one.”

Bannan and her 9-year-old worked on together on the display in the front window of their home. She said bringing a little love and little joy to the community could help us all feel a little closer together while we spend time apart.