A grassroots movement powered by Facebook is seeking to give encouragement and hope to families struggling with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, and a Marshall family is doing its part in the campaign.
Nicole Shawhan represents the dairy producing family that owns and operates Starlite Dairy and Grain in Marshall. She told The Times-Gazette they were encouraged by family members living South Carolina to participate.
“They live in South Carolina and we decided to help them in the ‘faith over fear’ movement,” Shawhan said. “We put crosses up in our yards with lights on them.”
She said it is all part of the growing Facebook group that calls itself “Crosses Across America” where people post pictures of their crosses from all over the nation “to spread some joy in this difficult time.”
She said the group at present had more than 10,000 members.
To combat the panic, dread and fear brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, she said that families across the country were putting crosses in their yards illuminated by spotlights or with lights wrapped around them.
Some have even painted crosses on barns, she said, adding she thought it was very inspirational to see all of the crosses going up across the nation.
“During Easter weekend, my husband, Ray Shawhan, and his brother, Dan, decided to spread this ‘faith over fear’ movement,” she said. “They constructed a 13-foot tall cross and mounted it on one of our grain bins. It is lit by a 100-foot strand of lights, so it’s visible from SR 124 here in Marshall Township.”
She said that her husband and two sons have constructed 18 crosses since Easter to share with friends in the community, adding that there are 12 crosses now in the Marshall area.
“We have seen many crosses go up just in this past week,” she said. “We have friends who have shared this hope-filled symbol in other southern Ohio counties.”
She said with families driving around looking at the various illuminated crosses it is reminiscent of enjoying the Christmas lights during the holiday season.
With a date of Friday, May 1 being batted around as a tentative date to begin reopening the state and nation, she said her family would leave up their cross as long as necessary.
“As long as we need hope, which I think we’re going to need for some time,” she said, “we’ll leave it up as long as we feel we need to spread that faith and trust that only comes from God.”
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.