London couple's signs of gratitude raise $6K for food bank

What started out as a single sign to say thank you to front-line workers turned into a significant fundraiser to support the London Food Bank.

The 'Stay Safe & Be Kind' campaign started with a single sign to say thank you to front-line workers

Charles Knott and Emily Jackson are selling signs of gratitude for front-line workers, raising money for the food bank. (Travis Dolynny/CBC)

What do you get when you mix a little talent, a dash of gratitude and a call to action? For one London couple, an unintentional fundraiser that has generated thousands of dollars for the local food bank.

Charles Knott and Emily Jackson live in the area of Fanshawe Park Road East and Adelaide Street. From their backyard, they can see London Fire Station 13.

"Emily suggested to me that we should do something to say thank you," said Knott.

"Firefighting is a risky job to begin with, but with COVID they're taking on a lot of extra risk and we wanted them to know that we appreciate what they're doing."

Jackson created the sign that reads "THANK YOU to our frontline workers, Stay Safe & Be Kind," complemented with colourful flowers and a blue heart. After they posted the original sign, it caught the eye of neighbours, who started to ask where they could get one.

"So, we said, 'you know what, if people are interested, why don't we get some more signs, we'll sell them and donate the money to the food bank,'" said Knott.

From a sign to a charity

Once the idea was put in motion, the couple set a goal to raise $2,000. Since they started taking orders and delivering the signs, they've tripled the goal, raising more than $6,000.

For Jackson, creating the sign was about overcoming negativity.

"I just feel like there was so many negative videos coming out at the beginning about being rude and we wanted to reinforce being kind to one another and especially ourselves during this time," she said.

"We've never been through anything like this and reiterate the kindness among each other."

In addition to the Stay Safe & Be Kind signs, the couple has designed a Grad 2020 sign and is also donating the proceeds from it to the foodbank.