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Utility boxes in Tampa neighborhood show messages of hope

Posted at 10:10 AM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 11:34:55-04

TAMPA, Fla. — On any given morning, you'll find Sunni Baerwalde, a woman who lives up to her name, and her daughter Shelby taking to the utility boxes that hug their sidewalk.

"We thought, we need a positive message," Sunni said.

The thought to glam up the metal boxes was born when coronavirus was starting to become a household name, but the messages of hope changed when our world did.

"I think that listening to everything when you wake up in the morning and then taking your children, your family, your dog out for a walk, and you've got this little heaviness on you in the morning, and then you see this bright and positive message. I think if we had more of that out there, it would be even better," Sunni said.

Sunni checked with Frontier, the company that owns and operates the boxes, and got the green light. Her husband treats them with specific paint to make sure they don't rust and will keep their shine, and message.

"We had two young guys who were FedEx drivers that came by and stopped their truck and said, hey, thank you for making our drive more beautiful," Sunni said.

All four boxes will adorn a positive message and a child with a blank face. Sunni said her daughter had the idea to leave the children's faces blank for a reason.

"She wanted the children with no faces because she wanted them to dream and imagine it could be them," Sunni said. "If everybody does a little bit, how much better would it be."