VENTNOR — There may be fewer people out on the streets, but the city and surrounding area are getting more colorful thanks to a coordinated effort from some hopeful residents.

Three women from Ventnor — Stacy Bew McCarron, Steph Polinski and Jennifer Langer — started the Facebook page “Ventnor / Downbeach Rainbow Trail” to keep their community connected even when they have to be apart.

On the page, they ask group members to craft rainbows and hang them in their window or front door for other residents to see from the street.

The page administrators hope residents can see a little color if they drive through town or go on walks 6 feet away from others per government recommendation.

“A rainbow is a message of hope, and I just wanted to start from there and keep that alive for our kids here in our community,” Polinski said.

Polinski, a mother, preschool teacher and former art teacher, had seen others creating rainbows on social media and posted a video of one of her two sons painting his own on her personal Facebook page. McCarron saw Polinski’s video, and Langer and another preschool teacher, Hope Bromhead, shared similar posts on Facebook.

Together, the women determined the activity had the potential to grow.

“I was like, ‘Hey, you know what? We’ve got such a great community here in Ventnor that I think this could really take off and create this fantastic distraction for these kids who really don’t understand what’s going on right now,’” McCarron said.

Within three days of creating the page, 300 members had joined. As of Thursday, the group had more than 600 members.

Users share pictures daily to show their rainbow creations along with their street name so viewers know where to look.

“I lost count of how many people have posted pictures, but it’s just so amazing to see,” McCarron said. “The great thing is it’s not only just people with kids ... the older community is doing it, too, because it’s exciting, these children giving them a little bit of a distraction from reality right now.”

McCarron said she is impressed with how creative some residents have gotten.

One cut out strips of paper to make a rainbow chain. Another painted their glass door to create a rainbow mosaic, and another used different colored socks to hang as their own “#smellyrainbow.”

Some have positive messages like “Be the rainbow in someone’s cloud,” “The sun will shine again,” “Be calm” and “Stay safe.”

“Just express yourself. Paint however you want to paint that rainbow. (The colors) don’t have to be in order. The color is like your sign, your own expression,” Polinski said.

The posts aren’t just for social media. When community members want to take a drive or a short walk, the rainbows can be a scavenger hunt for parents and kids to keep count.

“We took a quick drive around town because it wasn’t so nice out and we counted over 20 rainbows just in our quick five-minute drive,” said McCarron, who has two sons and a daughter. “They had so much fun just looking.”

Polinski noticed her children doing the same while she ran errands on a dreary day.

“Everything in that moment just felt like my mission was accomplished because that’s what I wanted it to be,” she said. “I wanted to continue that message of them being hopeful and happy and not feeling stress and anxiety that adults are feeling right now.”

The trend has expanded well past Ventnor’s borders into neighboring Margate and Atlantic City.

Ocean Casino Resort lit its rooftop ball with the image of a rainbow Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. to support the community effort. The rainbow will stay up on the ball every night for the next several weeks.

“We see our iconic rooftop ball as a beacon of light, and this is a great way to show community support,” said Diane Spiers, vice president of advertising and marketing at Ocean.

Spiers, of Ventnor, said the company encourages other businesses with available signage to do the same.

“I just wanted to make sure everybody knows that we’re all doing this together,” Polinski said. “We’re all going to get through this together.”

For McCarron, there is some gold at the end of the rainbow: She believes the impact will last longer than their stay indoors.

“I think this is bringing the community together,” McCarron said. “I think after this, we’re going to make a lot of new friends.”

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