Thank-you notes from children to essential workers, photographs of American flag displays and other inspirational images are being collected by the city of Westerville to help tell the story of what happened as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Christa Dickey, the city's community-affairs director, said everyone is leaning on social media more than ever, with state orders and social distancing because of COVID-19.

"We started noticing posts about how people were showing and sharing posts that were real, sentimental, funny and sometimes a little emotional," she said. "People are documenting these pieces of history, and we want to capture that as a community. So we have pictures, messages of hope and art."

Dickey said the city put out a call for submissions.

She said the city will accept contributions as long as they keep coming.

Dickey said the submissions help tell the story about how Westerville is coming together during these unprecedented times.

She said residents may send inspirational quotes, original art (including drawings from children), pictures from quarantine-compliant family activities or other images with themes including, but not limited to, thanking health-care workers; following social-distancing and hygiene protocols; staying positive during quarantine; and a united Westerville community.

Photographs, drawings, inspirational quotes or may be submitted via email to communityaffairs@westerville.org or by taggin the city on social media.

Nine-year-old Brooklyn Jacobs drew a picture and wrote about community members helping each other.

Westerville residents Lauren, 8, and Emily Acocks, 2, drew rainbows and thank-you signs displayed in windows to show appreciation for essential workers.

A submitted photograph shows Kate Newbanks, 10, wearing a face mask, gloves, stethoscope and a T-shirt that says "Keep Calm and Acton" with the "O" in Acton's last name displaying the state of Ohio.

The display is a nod to Dr. Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health who has become known for her role in leading Ohio's response to the pandemic.

Dickey said she received a number of submissions from Westerville Sunrise Rotary, whose volunteers placed American flags at the corner of Cleveland Avenue and County Line Road at the Westerville Sports Complex.

Gov. Mike DeWine asked Ohioans to display American flags during a March 19 press conference.

DeWine said flying the American flag or Ohio's flag would show unity.

A slideshow of contributions by Westerville residents is available at westerville.org/covid19.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla