A new online initiative in Ararat has seen people sharing positivity with each other while the COVID-19 pandemic alters the normal way of life for communities everywhere.
Ararat's Leah Heinrich and Carly McKinnis are the pair behind a new Facebook page 'Pay it Forward Ararat and District', which aims to share messages of hope, tips and advice for getting through these challenging times.
Ms McKinnis, a clinical psychologist, wanted to share her advice on how to be mindful of mental health during this time, and Ms Heinrich, a public relations and communications professional, got to work setting up the new site last weekend.
"It's a page for positivity to bring people together with tips on how to stay mentally healthy during this time," Ms Heinrich said.
"It's about rallying the local community as much as possible: a place for positive messages to keep everyone's spirits up."
The page's following has grown daily and includes links to videos, community news and even activity ideas.
The site has prompted households and businesses in the town to put a teddy bear, or any soft toy, in their front windows so children, now on school holidays, can get outside for a 'bear hunt.'
Ms Heinrich said people in her community were still coming to terms with the sudden changes imposed on everyday life.
"I think everyone's in a state of shock, as I am," she said.
"The response to the page shows we're all in the same boat and we're all keen to hold each other up.
"If we can do this for each other during this hard time then i think that's amazing.
"Little things that we can do for each other that will brighten our days and instill some hope and resilience."
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