High schoolers brighten up Northeast Ohio with charitable inflatable balloon displays

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BRUNSWICK, Ohio (WJW) — If a little flower can brighten your day, well then a big flower should brighten your year.​ That’s the idea behind a springtime campaign to put giant flower balloons on display across Northeast Ohio.

The idea is called Hope Blooms Ohio, which is also the name of a marketing campaign created by a team of local high school students looking to help the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, while also bringing joy to citizens.

Hope Blooms Ohio aims to put about a half-dozen bright, whimsical balloons up as messages of hope.

The team says they want to help bring a little color into everyone’s lives after a tough year of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, as well as help raise money to prevent food insecurity.

“It’s something crazy and big and if I were driving around and just saw a giant flower on the side of the road, I’d be like, ‘what’s that?” I’d want to stop and it’d just brighten my day,” said Brush High School Senior Sean Pierce, who is also Vice President of Creative Content for Hope Blooms Ohio.

Hope Blooms Ohio is a marketing firm made up of 40 students from different high schools who are working with Beachwood Junior Achievement.

Their idea was to set up giant flower balloons in different locations around the area to encourage folks to enjoy them and to think about helping others.

“All of the money that we’re raising through Hope Blooms Ohio is all being donated to the Cleveland Food Bank because we know that food insecurity in Northeast Ohio is a huge issue that we’re facing,” Orange High Senior and Project CEO Elana Rubenanko said.

“Our goal is to raise $40,000 for the Cleveland Food Bank,” said Matt Kendigsaid, Brush High School Senior. “We know they can do good with that.”

Each time the balloons are displayed there will be dozens of flower signs displayed with them. People are encouraged to take one and put it in front of their own home to spread the message and the joy.

However, the fundraising efforts don’t stop there. The team is also selling merchandise.

“It was really important that we had an apparel option because not only does it help spread the word, but it makes someone feel good when they’re looking at these colors or make someone feel even better about our project,” Mayfield Heights Senior Sofia Caine said.

There will be a sneak peek of the display on Friday in Public Square, then the campaign will move around to six different places throughout the remainder of Marrch and April.

“We are doing a lot of good in the community, but not only does it help the community but we’re helping out ourselves because it makes me feel good when you’re helping others,” Orange High Senior Sydney Shagrin said.

If you would like more information about the campaign and where you can see the displays this spring, visit the Hope Blooms Ohio website. Click here to contribute to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

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