Local organization hopes new murals will spread kindness

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COLUMBIA - A butterfly mural has appeared in a Columbia alley and has become a new photo destination.

Children's Grove partnered with Resident Arts to design the mural in Alley A. The teams chose the butterfly because it is the symbol of kindness.

The president of Children's Grove says the organization has helped Columbia become the nicest city in Missouri, and now they are trying to make Columbia the nicest city in America. They coined the term "kindness capital of Missouri". 

Children's Grove is a non-profit organization in Columbia. The founders started the organization after the Sandy Hook tragedy.

"They felt like they needed to do something to deal with our own grief, but also to just honor kids that have come in harm's way," President of Children's Grove, Kim Dude said.

Children's Grove created an actual Children's Grove at Stephan's Lake Park. There are butterfly magnolia trees and a butterfly bench in the northeast section of the park.

Dude has been trying to help keep the organization's legacy alive by adding different activities to the community that revolve around kindness. She was inspired to create a kindness mural.

Children's Grove reached out to Resident Arts to help make the mural become a reality. Resident Arts was able to have three of their teenage artists paint the mural. Dude said it was a perfect partnership, since her organization focuses on children.

The founder of Resident Arts, Madeleine LeMieux says she is honored that her organization was asked to help with the project.

"I think the gift of something that is beautiful and people can enjoy feels like an act of kindness," LeMieux said.

There will be a ceremony on August 24th at 10:30 AM that will serve as the official kick-off to celebrate the mural.

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