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Kate Patrick says the signs are a way to uplift Scappoose residents in a challenging year

COURTESY PHOTO: KATE PATRICK - Kate Patrick installs a small sign reading 'You Matter' along a Scappoose street.Have you seen an uplifting message on a yard sign in Scappoose lately?

That's the work of Kate Patrick, a senior at Scappoose High School, who has been putting up signs throughout the city with statements like "You Matter," "You Are Loved," "It's Okay To Ask For Help," and "This Too Shall Pass."

"I've definitely been feeling down because of the pandemic and isolation," Patrick said, "and I figured that other people were probably feeling the same way."

Patrick said she had been talking with friends about the need for more open conversations about mental health, particularly amid the school shutdowns and social isolation caused by the pandemic.

"It just kind of clicked in my brain: I need to put something up for people to read," Patrick said.

To decide what to write on the signs, Patrick looked up positive affirmations, thinking, "What would make me feel better if I was having a hard day and I read it?"

On social media, Patrick heard from people who said that the signs had been uplifting on hard days, both for the messages they bore and the fact that someone took the time to make them.

Patrick initially put up 10 signs with the help of her best friend, Henry Nordean.

After seeing the response to the signs, Patrick started a GoFundMe to raise $300 to order 20 more signs. The fundraiser met its goal in less than two days.

Clark Signs is also donating signs to the effort.COURTESY PHOTO: KATE PATRICK - One of the motivational signs reading 'You Got This' sits in the grass outside Scappoose City Hall.

Patrick hopes to have the additional signs up in Scappoose and St. Helens by March.

"I think it's amazing how many people also want to help," Patrick said.

She wasn't anticipating the overwhelming response to the signs, but she said it has helped boost her own emotional state.

"I'm really blown away by the amount of people that it's helped, and I think that positivity goes a long way for everyone in the community," Patrick said.

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